Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Vespers au Barroux
We finally made it to the Abbaye Sainte Madeleine au Barroux after about an hour of trying to get a taxi from Carpentras. Vespers was at 5.30pm so we had a chance to take a good look around the bookshop. I bought a video documentary of the life and work of Jacques Maritain but did not go for the lavender which is a local speciality. (Not my thing, you understand.)
On the journey we drove almost continuously through vineyards which the driver was able to name. There were also some olive groves: Le Barroux had both. Fr Briggs is here standing by some olive trees near the Monastery:
There were about forty people at the back of the Church for Wednesday ferial Vespers. These ranged in age from 0 to about 80 with several young families and a group of young men with a priest. Here is one family going into the Church:
and below is a group gathered afterwards; it was all most edifying. The French Church is by no means dead but you need to know where the life is.
I scarcely need add that Vespers was sung exquisitely but without fuss. We happened on a normal part of everyday monastic life with the Sacred Liturgy at the heart of it, and were privileged to participate. It was well worth the trouble of getting there.