Longing but unable to welcome you for worship ‘in person’, we invite you to ‘come gaze at the Word made flesh’ with us in a meditative walk round the Monastery Creche in this video link.

Come gaze at the Word Made Flesh.

Oh, come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.
Oh, come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.

Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem carved this olivewood set. Each year we invite guests to come look at it after services, to look from several angles, and to bend down to see it up close. We Brothers are pleased to share it with you.

The Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist invite you to join as we celebrate the life and death of our Brother David Allen, SSJE.

Office of the Dead, the service of Evensong prayed for and in the presence of the departed, will be on Thursday, 20 August at 6:00 PM.
The Eucharist of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, 21 August at 11:00 AM. Cremation will follow.

Both services will be live-streamed on the Friends of SSJE Facebook page.

In an article in the most recent issue of Cowley Magazine, Br. Sean Glenn proposes: “We are each a word and a song of God.” What song are you offering in these challenging times? He writes, “An occasion spent immersed in music can tantalize unexpected gratitude out from under a grief-stricken or cynical heart.” How might music speak to your soul, and help your soul to speak, today? Read Br. Sean’s article >

Beauty is not a veneer. Beauty is not entertainment, nor a lovely distraction, nor the domain of the privileged. Beauty is essential for life. Beauty is of the essence of God.

Might beauty be a balm to you during these strange, challenging days? In the most recent issue of Cowley magazine, Br. Curtis Almquist invites us to explore the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty. We invite you to explore the article and how beauty can help us to pray our life – in its blessings and its challenges. Read the article >

At this time when the Monastery Chapel is closed, the Brothers invite you to join us online on Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30 pm, when we will be audio-streaming the ancient monastic office of Tenebrae, a service that derives from the monastic services of matins and lauds. This liturgy is a choral offering, with chanted psalms and canticles set to plainsong and chanted lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremiah (in which each verse is introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet). As you listen along, you might light a candle, allowing its light to inspire your meditation. Join us online >

“The Liturgy of the Palms” in the Monastery Cloister Garden on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020.  Pictured: Br. Todd Blackham (Deacon), Br. Lucas Hall (Subdeacon), Br. Geoffrey Tristram (Presider), and Br. Jim Woodrum (Thurifer).

Have your Lenten goals been overshadowed by COVID-19? Many of us are struggling simply to find normalcy during these unsettling times – to say nothing of approaching the season of Lent with the purpose and intention with which we began it. To that end, we’re happy to share a recent piece by Br. Jim Woodrum on “The Monastic Discipline of Temptation,” which was recently published in the online magazine Earth & Altar. We hope this might invite you to re-embrace your intentions for this Lenten season in a meaningful way.

The Monastic Discipline of Temptation: Why did Jesus face temptation for forty days in the desert? And what has led centuries of monastics to follow him there, seeking to confront their own temptations? In “The Monastic Discipline of Temptation,” Br. Jim Woodrum stalks temptation out into the desert, seeking to understand its true nature. By studying the Christian monastic tradition, he discovers that temptation not something to be avoided, but actually something to be faced – even embraced. Temptation is a tool, by which we can discover what separates us from the love of God. When we study our own temptations, we can strengthen ourselves against their advances. This Lent, Br. Jim invites us to take up the discipline of temptation as monks do, following it as a path to self-knowledge and, eventually, a gateway into a deeper love of God.

Earlier this month, Br. David Vryhof was pleased to be a guest on the “Red Church Door” podcast, talking about God’s invitation to repentance. Follow the link to listen to the full episode (Br. David’s segment starts around minute 20).

From the Red Church Door: “Repentance is a subject that contemporary religion often shies away from. At the same time, there seems to be a natural, human hunger for reflection, recognition of our sins and weaknesses, and repentance. What is the process of repentance? What spiritual practices of repentance bring us closer to God — and why does repentance still matter? Colin’s guests for this episode are, Br. David Vryhof, from Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE) in Cambridge, MA and the Rev. Sandi Albom, Chaplain and Spiritual Director at The Plymouth House in Plymouth, NH.”

The Community was pleased to celebrate the clothing of Br. Todd Blackham on Sunday, March 15. While we regretted that the wider public was not able to share with us in the joyful event, it remains a sign of promising and hopeful new life, even in such challenging times. We wish Br. Todd joy as he enters into the next chapter of his religious vocation.