Windows in Time

By ColourWeaver

The Feast Day of John the Baptist

Today was the Feast Day of John the Baptist. We also have a young Frenchman, who is wishing to improve his English skills and is stay here at the Abbey, who is called Jean-Baptiste. These Feast Days are celebrated from Compline of the night before through to Vespers of the following day. Lunch is augmented with Quarr Abbey Ale with the lunchtime meal. in June the number of Feast Days, if I remember correctly, is six, with three during this week. Namely, today, Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Meals are more plentiful too, or at least they seem to be.

However, I have also noted that the chief has sometimes under-estimated the amount of food for the community of monks and their guests. Yet, there is always enough, even if the word come through in a loud whisper that there is not enough food to feed everyone. I have never seen anyone’s plate empty, but equally not piled high. Just like the feeding of the 5000, there is always food left over and everyone had their fill.

On this day Jean-Baptiste had been somewhat ribbed about his personal feast day and how we would all be looking to him to provide the food. When we arrived for lunch there was a bouquet of flowers on the table where he normally expected to sit. I noticed that he sat elsewhere. The flowers were moved to be in front of him by the time he got back to his place to eat his food. I think he was a little embarrassed by the flowers, but not by the food and the ale to wash it down with.

The blip today was taken during the service of Saint John the Baptist. You can see the incense still hanging over the alter. I managed to take this while everyone had their heads bowed and the Revd Father was kneeling in front of the alter. At these services more candles than just to two for all services other than Mass, when four candles are lit.

The incense was used all around the alter heavily and the smell was at time intense even at the back of the church. The vapour stayed until the doors were opened and then the incoming breeze just evaporated what remain.

(If the picture looked a little grainy, it is because I had to use the digital zoom on the iPhone camera. I could not have used my DSLR as this would have been too obvious, as the camera always makes a deafening audible click whenever I have used it between services. The merest sound can be heard. If I had used my DSLR I might have been dismissed from the church, or even asked to pack my bags and leave altogether.)

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