31 Dec December 2023 Digest
Merry Christmas! Welcome back to this year’s final monthly digest. As I write, we are still in the midst of our Christmas celebrations. That said, much of the month has been taken up with Advent. Although it was a little curtailed this year because of how Christmas fell, the anticipation of Advent is a special and unique time, as we look forward to the coming of Christ as an infant, and also to his coming at the end of time. Much of the music written for Advent is beautiful, and hearing the familiar melodies becomes in itself a promise of what is to come.
Lost and Found
When we make our Life Vows (Solemn Profession) we are given a gold ring to wear on the ring finger of our right hand, as a sign of our profession. Some people will have a new ring for this; others use one which has perhaps been handed down in their family. Br. Adrian went for this latter option on his Solemn Profession in 2022, inheriting his father’s wedding ring. However while out on the Estate in November, his ring came off his finger, and for anyone who knows our grounds, trying to find a gold ring would be challenging. Some research was carried out by a few people, which resulted in our purchase of a simple metal detector. Within 30 minutes of taking it outside, Br. Adrian located his ring, much to everyone’s delight. Br. Jonathan has since then been using the metal detector to help him continue his research into the history of our site and our locality. So far he has found 2 rather large horseshoes, along with several nails. He dreams of finding an Anglo-Saxon treasure horde…
We have been enjoying our celebrations of Christmas. The Community keep the 8 days from Christmas Day to the Naming of Jesus as community holiday; this gives us the chance to rest a little, and to spend time with family and friends, who may drop by and either take us out for the day, or join us for lunch here at the Abbey. Many of our friends and guests have been extraordinarily generous with their gifts to us this year, for which we are very grateful – and very busy writing thank you letters! The support of so many people, in all kinds of different ways, sustains our life here at Mucknell, and makes possible both the space that we hold and the hospitality we offer.
Books of the Year
As those who have visited us will know, we maintain the monastic tradition of eating our meals in silence, with someone reading aloud at lunch and supper. As ever, this past year we have read a wide variety of books, encompassing history, theology, biography, economics, philosophy and politics. As last year, the community have voted for their favourites, resulting in the top 4, in no particular order. Clicking on each cover will take you to a site where you can buy the book in question!
Thank you to all our faithful readers, guests, friends and family: on behalf of the Community, I wish you a happy new year. May you know the love of God at work in you all the days of your life.