the Gatherings of Urban Monastics

Gatherings of Urban Monastics

Gatherings are a central place of community within Urban Monastics. We gather together regularly to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, partake in the Eucharist, and have a conversation. It is an encouraging and prayerful time that is focused on worship, with community time afterward. Join us! 

Our Next Online Gathering

Seeking and Making a Home Within Silence.
Sunday, June 2
Live from: 20h-21h Paris/Berlin
1pm-2pm Chicago

What to Expect

Praying the Divine Office

The hour starts off with a quick welcome and moves right into praying vespers together, a liturgical-style prayer, in plain chant. If you are unfamiliar with plain chant, no problem, we’ll explain it. It’s easy to catch on, and since we meet virtually no one but God and the angels will hear you anyway! 

Why pray a liturgy?

It is a long held tradition to pray liturgical prayers in monastic communities. These prayers are different from the personal, specifically-focused, petition or praise style prayers that many are taught. Liturgical prayers use a set of scripture and other revered texts to pray God’s word back to him. It is a communal prayer, presented to God on behalf of the Church as a whole. Some people are drawn to liturgical prayers for what they embody, others are drawn to them as a way to empty ourselves and pray to God and praise Him without expecting anything in return. Whatever the reason, we know God is blessed by any and all prayers we offer to Him. 

Why do we chant?

Chanting prayers is an ancient practice that Monastics have been participating in for a long time. Often times when you visit a monastery you’ll hear a chant that is a step beyond the plain chant, with more melodic tones throughout and possibly accompanying music. We choose to plain chant for its simplicity and accessibility. Chanting is a way to more intentionally focus on the prayer we’re lifting to God, the words we sing on behalf of the Church. After all, it was Augustine who said “those who sing, pray twice” emphasising another dimension of praise we offer to God. 

Eucharist

When we finish praying vespers together, we move into a time of Eucharist. When you are watching we ask that you come prepared with the elements. One of us will lead us through a shared Eucharist liturgy. No matter where or when you watch, you will be joining together with each one of us across creation. The Eucharist is open to anyone who would like to partake.

Conversation

After Communion we spend time in Conversation. A topic is presented, relating to an important part of monastic life, or at times more specifically a topic related to one of the points of our Commitment. The conversation is introduced with some common ground laid, and then the time is opened up for conversation, generally with a few guiding questions to consider. Listening to the back and forth candid conversation is encouraging and challenging.

Closing Blessing

We started our time together by praying the Divine Office, and we finish it with a blessing for the week to come. This is the same blessing taken from our weekly Newsletter. May each of these blessings remind you of the deep love of our God for you, the presence of God in your life, and for the future each of our paths guide us towards.


That concludes the Gathering! We would love for you to join us in this regular time of meeting together, as often as you’re able.

Join us for our next Gathering!