Sunday, August 24, 2008

Monastic Brothers of Bethlehem... part 1

The 'Monastic Family of Bethlehem and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary'took birth in 1950, following the promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin. The Sisters were founded on France, soon after, and the Brothers in France in 1976. They are 2 geographically distinct Lavras of Hermits,one Congregation men, the other of women, though with similar charism lifestyle and foundation.

The life of the Monks is to love Jesus through Mary, and adore the Blessed Trinity in silence and solitude . It is Saint Bruno that the religious confide in to guide them toward the hermit life. The life of the monastic family of Bethlehem is inspired by the model lauras or skites in Egyptian beginnings of Christian monasticism, where the monks lived in solitude through the week and gathered for the Holy Synaxis on Sunday.

The monks (and nuns) of Bethlehem pray, work, study, eat and sleep in their cells and hermitages. The monastic day begins with evening vespers celebrated in common in the chapel. Then, the Religious stand Vigil during the night "where they mount a holy and persevering watch, awaiting the return of their Master, in opening when he knocks" (San Bruno).They then go to the oratory for Matins, followed by Lauds and the Eucharist. They are the only two times liturgical celebration lived together daily; the little hours of the divine office are celebrated in their cells. Monday is a Desert day, of complete solitude, except for a simple Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Common.Their offices are greatly inspired by Byzantine-Slav/Middle Eastern traditions as well as the simplicity of Latin Carthusian Chant. Sundays and great Feasts are fraternal, marked by a meal in Common ,and a fraternal walk, and recreation.

The worldwide Communities counts 500 Members. (Primarily French speaking)Monasteries of Monks are in France, Italy, Spain and Israel.

You can find the YouTube version here.

~ Via Catholiques.

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