Monday, June 7, 2010

About town

This afternoon I ventured out from the monastery to explore the village of Einsiedeln. There was a street fair going on, so there were many vendors selling everything from purses to sausage (I’m told this occurs every first Monday of the month). At a bread and meat booth, I stopped to purchase a soft pretzel and a small hunk of dark sourdough bread with flax seed. Many different kinds of breads can be found around here, and I haven’t tasted a bad one yet! I could live on the bread and soup served in the monastery. It is outstanding!

Einsiedeln is a small but thriving village, dotted with cafes, restaurants, shops, bakeries, and delicatessens. Many people—young and old—were out and about despite the dreary weather. Many were walking dogs or riding bikes. Directly across from the church is a bookstore, but it is closed on Montag (Monday), so I will have to go back some time. Unlike Rome, there is not a gelato shop on every corner, but there is plenty of Swiss chocolate! Things are fairly expensive around here, so perhaps that will help me resist that temptation!

The first picture above is a look toward the village from the hill on which the Abbey church sits. The second photo is a view of the garden behind the monastery. Both photos were taken on Samstag (Saturday) when it was sunny and warm; today was rainy and foggy. Once the weather improves a little, I intend to explore the mountain behind the Abbey.

But for now, I am simply becoming familiar with life inside the monastery. Below is the monastic schedule, or horarium, observed here on weekdays. It is similar in many respects—though not identical—to ours at Saint Meinrad. (This is translated roughly into English; the schedule posted in my room was all in German, but it wasn’t too difficult to make sense of it).

5:30 a.m. – Vigils
Breakfast – Bread, cheese, fruit, cereal, and homemade yogurt (unlike American yogurt, it is rather firm, white, and more tangy than sweet).
7:15 a.m. – Lauds
Work or classes
11:15 a.m. – Mass
12:05 p.m. – Noon prayer
Lunch – This is the main meal of the day, usually soup, vegetable, pasta or potato, and meat. Desserts aren’t big around here.
Recreation until 2 p.m. (includes option of social/coffee with guests).
Work or study
4:30 p.m. – Vespers
Personal time/Lectio Divina
6:25 p.m. – Adoration (juniors only)
6:30 p.m. – Dinner, typically a lighter meal than lunch.
7:55 p.m. – Chapter or brief community meeting, followed by Compline and night silence.

Tonight, after dinner and during recreation, Br. Mauritius showed me photographs of his time in the Swiss Guard—specifically his detail during the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. He had a pretty good view of everything!

On Wednesday, I will be going with a couple monks to Schwyz. Next week, plans are to visit a monastery in Austria for a few days.


Scott said...

Br. Francis,

I'm very much enjoying your reports, especially about the archabbey at Einsiedeln.

Do you know if the office books used by the monks are published there at Einsiedeln or are one of the excellent editions published at M├╝nsterschwarzach (Benediktinisches Antiphonale) or Ottilien (Monastisches Stundenbuch)?

Br. Francis de Sales Wagner, O.S.B., said...

There are a number of office books used here, depending on the office being celebrated, and whether it is in German or Latin. I don't believe any are published here at Einsiedeln. A few are in the category of which you speak. I am told that several feature the work of Pater Roman Bannwart, who died earlier this year.

Patrick O'Gara said...

Good blogs, Bro.

But, as your old boss, I suggest you go easier on the dogs' cocks (exclamation marks)


Br. Francis de Sales Wagner, O.S.B., said...

Right you are, as usual.

Thanks for checking in and up.


Br. Francis