20 Sep 15: Kloster Hautrive / Abbeye d’Hauterive

Rest Day.

Every large group of people has a daily routine to help things run smoothly. Here is the daily routine for this Sunday at this monastery.

4:15 Office of Vigils

6:30 Office of Lauds

7:10 – 8:00 Breakfast (brown bread, butter, jam, coffee, tea)

09:30 Office of Terce combined with Eucharist (on weekdays Eucharist follows Lauds and precedes breakfast) This is quite a long service, complete with entrance procession, incense, and chanted entrance psalms, as well as introit, Kyrie, gloria, sanctus, angus dei, with an offertory anthem also chanted.

11:50 Office of Sext

12:10 Midday meal

2:30 Office of None

5:15 Office of Vespers

6:30 Evening meal

8:00 Office of Compline

The Offices are sections of the Daily Office, lasting about thirty minutes each and including several psalms, each sung to a different plainchant melody; a short reading or two; and a litany of intercessory prayer.

The midday meal is the big meal of the day, at least here in the European monastery guesthouses. Starter was a delightfully light cream of vegetable, mostly green onion I think. Main course was an assembled pork roast, with mushroom gravy, pomme frites and freshly pickled kraut. A cheese plate and fresh watermelon completed a very nice meal. This was a Sunday, and I don’t know if the weekdays are similarly grand.

The evening meal this Sunday was lighter fare: brown bread, assorted cheeses, sliced salami, butter and jam, coffee and tea. The Swiss call this coffee complete and it is a common Sunday evening meal.

The Abbey church is late Romanesque (the arches are beginning to show a slight pointedness) including the decoratively painted plaster walls; parts of the building date to the 12th century and it was completed in the 14th century. The main building, including the monks’ residence, refectory and quarters for male guests, dates to the Baroque. Outbuildings including the guesthouse for women also date to the Baroque. But it is a rather simple Baroque, if that’s not an oxymoron: the ornate urge is limited to the railing ironwork and a small bit of ceiling moulding in the public spaces. 

The Cistercians, as best I can summarize, are reformed, less-comfortable Benedictines. The history and lineage of the monastic orders makes fascinating reading, especially the story of the powerful Benedictine abbey at Cluny (which funded construction of most of the infrastructure along the Chemin St Jacques in France and the Camino Santiago in Spain).

My Swiss friends Beatrice and Yves have arrived now, so tomorrow we will walk on together. 


6 responses to “20 Sep 15: Kloster Hautrive / Abbeye d’Hauterive

  1. I love the detail in your narrative! Next best thing to being there. So glad your friends have arrived.

  2. So interesting. I didn’t know that about Cluny. We visited Cluny and its museum when we spent a week at Taize. It certainly made a big impact on the Church in France. Interesting to hear it is linked to the “Way”.

  3. Thanks! Enjoy the time with your friends.

  4. Very positive to hear that you will have walking friends along the Way–how many more days will be you be completing this season? Lois

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