Yesterday I enjoyed something very rare in my life. On Sunday, August 28th I enjoyed a true Sabbath day. The day began with breakfast. After breakfast, I showered and put on my Sunday best in preparation for worship. Prior to the worship service, the monks chanted from Psalm 119 for the third office of the day, Terce. The chanting of the Psalms all during the day reminded those present of the importance of praising God.
From the first office of the day, Vigils, the preparation began: Psalm 95:6: O Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.
The Mass started a lttle after 10:30 a.m. As the Abbot prayed he asked God to allow all Christians to be of one mind and one spirit. I thought to myself, while I am here in Kentucky my church family is worshipping in Virginia. We are separated by miles but one in spirit. People all over the United States are gathered at this moment to worship the Living God. I felt the Spirit of the Lord as we sang and prayed. Fr. Andrew gave the homily. The organ sounded magnificent and grand. My spirit soared.
For the remainder of the day, I relaxed, walked, read the Bible, attended the offices and listened to Dvorak’s New World Symphony. It was a day of worship, praise and rest. This is why God created the Sabbath and commanded us to observe it.
Yesterday ended with Benediction. This is the time when the monks kneel before the host, the Presence of Christ, in adoration and worship, Following Benediction,there is the last office of the day. Compline is a one of my favorite offices because it ends the day with a blessing and a reminder of the fragility of life.
Rabbi Abraham Heschel in his book on the Sabbath reminds us that Sabbath keeping is a way of preparing us for the Great Heavenly Banquet. There we will be filled with joy as we continually offer praise to our Lord. I was grateful for this sweet taste of the life to come.
I count it all joy,