Chapel Schedule and News
Chapel Closure and Prayer
When we closed the Chapel in March, never would I have imagined that, we would still be closed well into October, and with no idea when it might be safe to re-open. We Brothers are closely monitoring the situation, and once it is safe to re-open, we will do so. However, we want to do that only when it is safe. As you can imagine trying to balance the health and safety needs of Brothers, our dedicated staff, and you, our loyal supporter and member of our worshipping community, is a daunting task.
Because of the nature of the building, we face a number of challenges with which we continue to grapple: from narrow passageways that do not allow for physical distancing; to a ventilation system that circulates air throughout the complex (when we use incense we can smell it in our cells!); to limited toilet facilities; to the challenge of cleaning and sterilizing. In addition, there continues to be the question of the safety of singing; the administration of Holy Communion; and the numbers of people who would be allowed into the Chapel.
We want to be able to assure you that the Chapel is a safe place. Until we can do that, we believe that it is prudent to remain closed for the time being.
At the same time, we know how important your relationship to the Brothers, and one another is, as well as the opportunity to worship together, and receive the Sacrament. While online worship may not address all these needs, we are doing our best to provide substantial and substantive opportunities for worship, and occasions to engage with the Brothers.
I hope by now you have discovered our daily livestreamed Evening Prayer. We hope soon to add Compline to that. We are in the process of creating a number of online retreat and workshop programs. A regular pastoral letter Grace in Time of Trial is sent out to all on our e-list. If you are not currently on our email list, and would like to receive announcements about these various initiatives, please be subscribe or update your subscription here.
Please know that we miss you, and that we pray for you frequently. Thank you for the gift of your abiding friendship.
I look forward to the day when we will be able to meet one another again in person and share in the worship of God together.
Until then, know of my prayers.
Faithfully in the Lord who unites us, one to another, even when we are separated,
James Koester SSJE
About the Daily Office
The Brothers’ worship schedule, what has traditionally been called the “Daily Office,” is described in the SSJE Rule of Life as:
“...a sustained act of union with Christ by which we participate in his unceasing offering of love to the Father. In reciting the psalms, singing canticles and hymns, proclaiming the divine word in Scripture, or lifting our voices in prayer, we are to enter more and more into the mind, heart, and will of Christ, and to be borne up by the Spirit in him to the Father.
"Our praying of the psalter, which is the heart of the Daily Office, takes us ever deeper into the mystery of the incarnation; the psalms give voice to the whole range of human experience which Christ has embraced and redeemed as the Savior of the world. As we sing and chant deep levels of our being are involved; our hearts are lifted up in greater exultation. And music enhances our worship with riches inherited from many ages.”