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Interview with Julia Smead

Pictures of the Benedictine Community
meeting at her church

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First Book to Read (Page 1)

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JULIA SMEAD:   I describe our practices for the Benedictine Gathering here in the interview. Our schedule is that the group gathers about 6 p.m. in the church for a chanted service of Vespers, a meal, study of one chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict, and chanted Compline. 

For years, the group met without hands-on clergy.  Recently Fr. Jonathan Duncan has become a regular attendee, giving the group welcome instruction in proper Gregorian Chant.

Here are some pictures of the Benedictine Community during our monthly services at my church:




After our parish finished its new building we now meet at my church and we chant! 

Here we are in procession from hall while chanting a litany





Litany is chanted with incense.  



Meal setting

Now as a group, we’ve purchased real dinner plates. This is an opportunity to do our best to the glory of God.








Meal and reading.

Conversation is
kept to a minimum; silence is observed
during the meal, except I
follow the Benedictine tradition
and read to the group during the meal.





At Compline

Picture is of the Benedictine Gathering chanting the Salve Regina. (One of four anthems to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Explained at New Advent Encyclopedia.  All four anthems with audio at The Secular Oratory.)

Following the last prayer at Compline there is asperges (sprinkling with Holy Water. The practice of asperges -- often done at Mass -- is a common Benedictine monastic practice at the end of Compline) as individuals enter the Great Silence that governs the nighttime hours.

  Thank you Julia Smead.

Live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area?  Anyone interested in experiencing the Benedictine traditions is welcome to join this ad hoc community for its monthly gathering. Send your RSVP to breadforthejourney@sbcglobal.net.