On Sunday my cousin, her husband and I made the trip to Mass at the Monastery in Livingston Manor, NY. The full name of the order is Monastic Family of Bethlehem and the Assumption of the Virgin. Saturday afternoon, my cousin called to find out the time of Mass. She was told it was between 7:30 and 8:00 AM. We arrived at about 7:30 and they were still doing morning prayers.
They were doing a kind of chant, which I love and find so relaxing and peaceful. The church or chapel was very small. We went upstairs where there is room for no more than 20 people. The nuns were the only ones downstairs. I noticed that there were no statues, only icons. After doing some research, I found out that the Eastern traditions of Christianity are very important to them. They combine the Eastern traditions with the Roman traditions including some Latin.
It was a lovely Mass, made more so by the chanting of the nuns. It felt very much like the Masses of my childhood, before Vatican II. I felt very peaceful and serene. In fact, the area is so peaceful that we didn't speak louder than a whisper even outside of church. I asked the Prioress or Mother of the community if I could take some pictures of the area. Naturally (and unfortunately) I don't have any pictures of the interior.
The church is inside this enclosure. You can see the bell that they sometimes ring. I didn't hear it on Sunday.
Here's a better shot of the church.
There is a lawn sprinkled with yellow flowers surrounding the church and then there is a lake just beyond.
This is a picture of the old church. They have a newer one, although it is just as simple. I prefer a simple, country church.
The Monastery is in the mountains. We took a lot of country roads, even some unpaved roads. The countryside there is beautiful. We even saw some wildlife - several deer.
It was a wonderful, restful and peaceful weekend. Now I'm ready to return to my busy days, at least I think so.