The form of the meetings will no doubt evolve over time. But in order to include the classical Benedictine elements of hospitality, lectio divina (spiritual reading), and liturgical prayer I would like start by proposing the following structure or horarium.
Recreation at 8pm: We will meet in the Guild Room at the Oratory for refreshments - or possibly elsewhere if the Guild Room is booked. This will be an occasion for recreation together and for welcoming our visitors.
Chapter at 8.30pm: We will go into the church for a reading from the Rule of St Benedict followed by a short commentary on the Rule, especially as it can be applied to those living as Benedictine Oblates in the world. This will be followed by lectio divina for about twenty-five minutes. People should bring their own reading material.
Compline at 9pm: We will go to the Sacred Heart Chapel to sing the Office of Compline together. I propose singing the Benedictine Office in Latin with the single Confiteor as used outside of Choir. This may be a bit difficult at first, but it will be worth persevering! At the end we will go to the Lady Chapel to sing the antiphon to Our Blessed Lady.
Most of our groups have the "social time" at the end, but it seems best to have a Benedictine Oblates' recreation at the beginning of the evening so that we can go home after Compline in our own "Great Silence" and maintain a spirit of recollection and prayer.
In the future I hope we may be able to supplement this basic structure with Oblates' Masses, talks about Benedictine History and Spirituality and, in the summer months, visits to places of monastic interest.
I have prepared Compline Books for use by the group, so there is no need to bring an Antiphonale unless you would like to.
There will be breaks in this routine for holiday times, Holy Days and different liturgical seasons. Please check this blog regularly for details of changes to the usual timetable and for extra activities and events. I will also add links, over time, to other sites of Benedictine interest or with resources for prayer and study,
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Fr Richard Duffield C.O.