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New enchanted ground: The Monastery
Have you ever thought to yourself, "Hmmm, I wonder what it was like to live
in a period monastery? To move through the cycle of the daily offices; to live
simply; to share the daily tasks with others in a community?"
I have. But I also know I have no real call to live such a life on a permanent
basis. But a *temporary* basis is another thing altogether. So I thought I
would toss out the following idea to see if there is interest enough to pursue
At Pennsic XXV ('96), I would like to have an enchanted ground camp called
The Monastery. In order that both men and women could participate, the camp
would be modelled on the double monasteries that existed early in period. (Yes,
this would require segregation by sex for sleeping arrangements.) We would have
an abbot or abbess (whose job it would be to organize the common duties). We
would have a (non-sacramental) cycle of prayer services. (More on that later.)
We might have habits, though I can't imagine wearing them all day every day. We
would probably have a library. We wouldn't be cloistered, silent, or flagellant.
Other details would have to be ironed out later (e.g, communal or individual meal
preparation) or left to individual discretion (whether or not to sleep on a
real straw matress).
The stickiest (but most important) part of this idea remains the religious
services. I take my religion seriously (but not too solemnly). So this would
be real, honest-to-goodness Christianity; not just play-acting. I hope that
members of all denominations would be interested in participating. As such,
I would work hard to ensure that the daily offices would be acceptable
to Catholics and Protestants alike. Again, because this wouldn't be elaborate
make-believe, there would be no pretense of sacramental functions (no Communion,
confessions, baptisms, etc.) All the services would be those that historically
have been conducted by the laity or non-ordained monks/nuns.
And for those who inevitably will contend that this idea runs contrary to
Corpora, bear in mind that participating in The Monstary would not be compulsary
and would, to the greatest extent possible, not intrude itself on the activities
of those around it.
So, what do you think? Would anyone be interested in joining me in this
enterprise? If so (or if not for specific reasons) please let me know via e-mail
(rather than just posting to the net). Thanks.
-- Dan Carey -- Pascal Merredy
-- email@example.com -- Anglican@aol.com