I’ve been enjoying St. Mary’s Episcopal’s Wednesday night soup suppers and talks. Starting at 6 p.m., they feature a simple soup supper prepared by a parishioner. At 7 p.m. Heidi Marlowe, St. Mary’s member, has been presenting an excellent series of talks on “Monastic Practices for Lay Life“.
Drawing on her personal experience as a modern day contemplative, Heidi’s presented a picture of monasticism going back to the dawn of Christianity. She’s guided by St. Benedicts Rule, as are many monastics. Marlowe also created a short form of the Rule called “A Smaller Rule”, which she made available to all who wished a copy. An example from it reads:
“embrace life, whatever that may cost,
whatever that may mean,
and however that may appear.”
Another volume she created was a Psalter to be used for Lent, drawn from the Rule of Benedict, and the Office of Vespers for Wednesdays in Lent. It is used for group recitation at the conclusion of her talks.
These Lenten suppers end on April 5. I’ve enjoyed each presentation as they have evolved, starting with Heidi’s talk first Sunday of Lent.
Last Wednesday, The Rev. Kacei Conyers–Associate Rector, gave a fascinating talk about the origins and use of the Common Book of Prayer. It certainly added to my store of knowledge of this central document used in the Episcopal Church.
Lent is a time of self-examination prior to Holy Week. St. Mary’s is excelling in presenting Lenten fare that aids in that process. I highly commend this series to anyone seeking to know more about contemplation, and a more structured practice of practical monasticism for the daily life. Thank you St Mary’s for this gift to the community. You are feeding the body and the soul through this series.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is located on the SW corner of Tudor Rd, and Lake Otis Parkway.