Saturday, 28 November 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 43 Poor Clares of Arundel …

 

In these very challenging days … many are struggling with being able to cope without our social interactions, which are such an important part of our family and our lives.


St Clare of Assisi

The Poor Clares of Arundel, are members of a contemplative Order of nuns in the Catholic Church in West Sussex, who have been socially distancing for centuries (in England over 750 years) – while in Arundel since 1886, when this particular order was founded.



So … who else better to ask how they cope than the nuns … Sister Leo, a member of the order since 1976, advised “Pay attention to regularity in your life, and do things by a timetable”.



Poor Clares' Convent, Arundel, West Sussex

 

Each day is similar … arising at 5.00 or 5.30 am …


Meditating, pray and working in the garden or on spiritual direction …


Lunch is eaten in silence, while listening to a reading or spiritual text, after a rest …

 

More work, followed by recreation – when they catch up with each other; 

 

Sister Aeired, who’s been member for 59 years, confirmed that they sometimes fall out, but also from time to time enjoy a glass of beer, or wine.

 

Music, particularly chanting, plays a huge role in their lives … they had been approached to record an album before Covid lockdown struck.   But … as things were meant to be … they agreed the album should be produced, as they only had one rehearsal left.

 

Part of their routine is music every Wednesday – so the album was crafted and created on Wednesdays …

 

… it was voluntary for their 23 members, not all wanted to be on the album; as with most of us … some could sing, some struggled … but the album was produced.

 

The album, with Latin hymns, features writings from St Clare and St Francis, including medieval texts – with a 21st century overtone.




Clare of Assisi (1194 AD – 1253 AD) was one of the first followers of St Francis, who founded the Order of the Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life – the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman.

 

I’ve been listening to their music – and it is encapsulating …  so soft, quiet, meditative … and really takes me away from the ‘noise of our unworldly world’ …

 

Enjoy and here’s to all those who are there for us in our hours of need …


 

We are the World Blogfest

In Darkness, Be Light

  

Poor Clares, Arundel ...

The Catholic Universe - news report ... 

The Poor Clares Order - Light for the World album trailer (2:12 mins)

YouTube - full recording: The Poor Clares of Arundel


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


34 comments:

Annalisa Crawford said...

What a fascinating topic. Music has such restorative powers - though I'm not sure anything could compel me out of bed at 5am!

DMS said...

I spend a good chunk of every day listening to music. I also tend to have a similar rhythm or pattern to my day whether I am working or not. :) I hope you post helps those who are struggling right now.
~Jess

Botanist said...

Wonderful post, Hilary. I started listening on Youtube and immediately went to add this album to my iTunes library.

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. Music is not a regular part of my day (my loss). I listened to some of The Poor Clares album in awe. Discipline - and beauty.
I am usually up before them but my days are a lot less ordered.
As always huge thanks for the links and the discipline you bring to every post. Work and discipline which also result in beauty (and delight).

Anabel Marsh said...

I shall be boorish and say I don’t think it will be my kind of music! But the album cover is fabulous.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa - yes ... I'd imagine their music would help so many people ... it is certainly getting played a lot on the radio outlets. I'm not keen on the 5.00 am lark either!

@ Jess - I think many of us do ... but for some reason I'm happy with 'silence'. Sadly I seem to have become more switched off as the pandemic goes on - I'm going to pull myself together in December and get my equilibrium back. 2021 surely has more to offer the world ...

@ Ian - thanks ... I'm delighted it's gone into your iTunes library ... it is amazing music - so well mixed by the two professional artists.

@ EC - I know you're a real early bird ... still the garden to potter around in brings you much delight. So pleased you enjoyed the links ... and I feel you'll play more of their album again. I'm terribly undisciplined - seem to pull myself together at the last minute ... I don't like being like this - but for now the covid-life goes along, which I hope none of us catch.

Thanks to the four of you ... so pleased you enjoyed the #WATWB post ... take care - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anabel - that's fine ... at times this music is perfect - but do understand ... take care - Hilary

Mike Goad said...

We actually have music on for only part of the day, for background music, but it's a satellite TV audio station. I watched the trailer and enjoyed the music. I'm not sure I would like it for regular listening especially as we don't have regular listening habits. We've got a good size library of music on our phones and iPod, but generally, only listen to that when we are on the road in the RV. We might make it all the way through the playlist in a trip where are actually on the road for 15 or 20 five-hour travel days. In the car, we have Sirius/XM

David M. Gascoigne, said...

The music is becalming indeed, Hilary, and I think that chants have always been so, right back to the days of Hildegard von Bingen and all those Gregorian chants that take over your mind when you immerse yourself in them. At the very least they draw you in. I hadn't realized that I share things in common with these cloistered ladies, but I am generally up and about around 5:00 am and I am very partial to a glass of wine now and then - more now than then! I will drink a toast to their health, and yours too at dinner tonight.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Fascinating, Hilary,. I suspect the Poor Clares are coping better than most - their situation, after all, is of their choosing. I don't understand why many complain - they have access to so very much except, perhaps, seeing friends and relatives as much as they'd like. Well, what do they suggest?
Others, though, who find it hard to get out, nowhere to go when they do, have limited means, perhaps small children with them - they are the ones I feel for.

Joanne said...

routine has a purpose, that's for sure. I fled south Texas today. Just felt overwhelmed for no good reason. I miss PA, miss my family. Ray's family is wonderful but it's not "home". I feel selfish. I feel too much. Tough times all around for so many, and I truly have nothing to complain about - life is good but sadness hits. Good post and interesting. Thanks.

Liz A. said...

Fascinating.

Kathy G said...

Thanks for bringing the album to my attention.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Huh. That's really amazing. I never would have heard of these nuns and this album if not for your post. Thank you so much.

I hope your November went as well as it could and that you'll experience joy in the coming holiday season.
There's a giveaway on my blog that ends today, if you're interested.

Hels said...

I agree that many of us have been struggling with coping without our normal social interactions and work responsibilities. But I do not agree that paying attention to routine, and doing things by a timetable helps with mental health. Participating in important projects, however, it vitally important. Practising for a singing performance and creating that album were brilliant ideas.

Dan said...

What a wonderful choice for WATWB, Hilary. It highlights the fact that, in many ways, we haven't been asked to give up so much. The enforced isolation has given us opportunities to explore ourselves and know ourselves better. I can't wait until we're closer to pre-COVID times, but it hasn't been so bad. I'm glad they were able to work a gift to the world into their regular routine.

Take care.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The nuns made an album - how wild is that?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mike – your choices are possibly greater than ours here … but there is so much choice. This is for us if we feel the need, more importantly it’s for those who are struggling with loneliness at this time and who are very likely on their own. So I quite understand your thoughts – many just don’t have our optimism and outlook or fortune in how we find ourselves. Great to see you though …

@ David – thanks for the reminder about Hildegard – she probably was one of the first musical communicators … as the Gregorian chants seem to have been the catalyst for so much of our musical interpretations today.

Your hours match theirs … but am glad to see the wine you take is happily imbibed at supper time! I expect they’re just as sensible too … and thank you for your toast to our health – yours too …

@ Mike – yes … I think they were coping, because it’s a way of life for them – but that is why the musicians approached them to see if an album was a possibility – they’ve made waves across our musical universe, that’s for sure, which through their music eases others’ minds.

Re complaining … we don’t think of others do we – well many of us … like you I wonder why so many whinge and moan … life would be so much easier for one and all if we had more compassion and understanding in our hearts.

@ Joanne – yes … routine can be very good for us all. Sorry to read about your mental tribulations – though can understand them … so much in the news, and on social media … not helping in so many ways.

You’re so right … if we could all take stock of our lives to understand others’ lives first and consider what’s going on. You’re not selfish – it’s self- preservation, which you realised, and I’m sure Ray understands. We may be alright – but feel for others, which affects our mental health. Thanks – great comment and thoughts …

@ Liz – thank you …

@ Kathy – that’s a pleasure … it certainly soothes the soul, while giving us time to think and evaluate the situation.

@ J – I’m pleased you appreciate their work. Good luck with your blog.

@ Hels – they’re offering advice … and via the album perhaps giving people time to remember others. Routine won’t help us all – but it does appear to help people who, at times, struggle. The musicians who helped the nuns get the album out there are truly inspirational …

@ Dan – many thanks … exactly if people could get to understand what others go through and appreciate their own advantages at this disadvantageous time – we’d all be better off. There are definitely opportunities at these times … but I do understand if one doesn’t have a reasonable sized home, or a garden, or abilities to cope – it is difficult.

You make an interesting observation – the nuns carried on doing what they do every day as part of their routine – there were minor deviations … but they have that anyway with interaction in the community … and allowed themselves the opportunity to explore new outlets.

@ Alex – yes … wonderful isn’t it.

Thanks to you all for visiting and commenting … I’m so pleased this subject was right for the #WATWB … stay safe and take care - Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

I heard this album on Classic FM recently and immediately downloaded it! It is utterly mesmerising. It also flew to the top of the classical charts. Wonderful music from the most unlikely of sources!

Mason Canyon said...

Fascinating music at a most difficult time in our lives. Hillary, thanks for sharing otherwise I would have missed out on this. Take care my friend.

Jacqui Murray said...

That sounds lovely. I recently started listening to white noise music--calm, passive, background. This sounds somewhat like that with a bit more of a punch. Thanks, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - that's great you immediately downloaded it ... and found it utterly mesmerising - I'll be listening to it quite often. I gather it's hitting the charts ... wonderful for everyone involved, particularly the Poor Clares!

@ Mason - it's such a gorgeous quiet peaceful listen - so pleased to read you'll be listening to it too ...

@ Jacqui - it is wonderful ... so I'm happy you'll be listening along as well ... amazing what turns up in this world of ours to help us through ...

Thanks for coming by and commenting so positively ... I'll be enjoying this for a while, as these challenging times test us all - stay safe and take care - Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's wonderful they made the album.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I feel better already. I'm on track. I meditate and drink the occasional glass of wine. Seriously, don't know what I'd do without meditation.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I f ound this interesting, thank you

Inger said...

I've always wanted to do things according to a schedule. At home, I mean, but have never succeeded. Of course there are things to be done every day, but when I was a mother's helper, you cleaned this on Monday, that on Tuesday and so on. Not me, for sure. I hope you are well and that you will have a lovely holiday season.

D.G. Kaye said...

What a fantastic piece of history - Clare of Assisi. Wonderful share Hilary xx

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - it's been a fascinating revelation for them ...

@ Joylene - good for you ... I've never managed to master meditation ... so it's interesting to read your comment ...

@ Jo-Anne - thank you ...

@ Inger - yes ... one has to be organised when one works for others; and certainly when I was working I had a routine. I'm sort of in a routine now - but it's probably not a very efficient one - I get things done, but I'm sure I could fit more in to the day if I got on with things!

@ Debby - thanks ... the nuns have really hit the headlines with their wonderful album - and I've found out about their history - which I didn't know.

Thanks so much to you all for visiting and being interested - lovely to see you - take care and stay safe - Hilary

bazza said...

I paused Bob Dylan to listen this music! One could only ever be at peace when hearing it. I don't understand what the meaning is but some elements of meaning are undeniable! It can become my go-to music for a break from the rather unpleasant world we are all experiencing...
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s sometimes sartorial Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Vallypee said...

Music really is the food of love, Hilary, and also peace. However, I can't help thinking that even in lockdown we have a more varied life than these women, although it must also be a very spiritual and restful existence.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bazza - yes ... just sometimes we need that quietude - and I'm so glad you enjoyed it and it will be your 'go to' music when you feel the need. I love Dylan - yet at times 'the silence' is just wonderful when the Poor Clares can fill my hearing life ...

@ Val - excellent - yes music is the food of love ... and peace.

I'm not sure we do have a more varied life - I think it depends on our needs - they feel the need for their silence ... their choice, yet they do listen to the radio and have the newspapers ... they discuss things - yet mainly live in silence.

Thanks for your comments ... lovely to hear from you - stay safe - Hilary

Susan Scott said...

I've got the you tube music of Poor Clares of Arundel on my computer as I'm commenting, thank you Hilary. It's blissful and a lovely offering for #WATWB (which I haven't done this month) ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - isn't it just great ... so soothing, and as you say blissful to listen to ... while being able to contribute to #WATWB ... which highlights positivity for the world. Delighted you're enjoying it ... take care - Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

I've always thought that following the schedule of a monastery or convent would be very relaxing and fulfilling.
Thanks for the link to the album! Not only do I enjoy the music, but it's also good background research for one of my stories!