Last Sunday, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra had a concert at the Monastery here in Rockdale County. It was beautiful. It rained the whole weekend but for a few hours the rain stopped and it was a lovely afternoon! Look at that sky! (The building at the left is where the monks lived when they first came to Georgia, it was a BARN and they lived there with the animals when they first began building in the 1940's.)
Walking over to the church, you feel yourself begin to relax and to breathe in the peace and the quiet.
In the photo above, those are tulip trees that the monks planted in the 1940's...they are the tallest trees that grow in the eastern part of North America, you can tell why they are called tulip trees, that is one of the blossoms that had fallen off one of the trees. (One of the songs began "I got me flowers to strew thy way".)
Standing in line waiting for the concert, I look up and I think I see a heart shape in the clouds, do you see it or is it just me? (It was even better but I had to fish out my camera!)
Though it might look like marble, the church is make entirely of concrete! Can you imagine how much work this would have been for these hardworking monks?
I have read that the monks decided to use a lot of blue in the stained glass once they realized that the blazing Georgia sun would be softened and cooled by this color. What a great idea!
Yellow and orange stained glass bathe the altar in a golden light while the rest of the church is in a peaceful blue and lavender, very serene and beautiful.
The music and singing was wonderful (I loved the violins!) but my favorite part was when four of the monks came out and chanted "Ubi Caritas" (Op. 10, No. 1 from "Quatre motets sur des themes Gregoriens pour Choer" by Maurice Durufle...you may click above and listen to it. This clip is not the one that the monks did at the concert but it is very good and very close to how it sounded.
(Translated, the last few lines of this are: And from a sincere heart let us love each other, where charity and love are, there God is.)
Tomorrow, the road in front of the Monastery will be shut down so that a new pedestrian bridge will be built over this busy highway. They are building a new trail that will go directly to the Monastery and rather than walkers and bikers having to dodge the traffic, they will be able to walk right over the road! This is truly a wonderful thing, but then, this doesn't surprise me, the Monastery is a place for miracles. (Miracles can happen anywhere really, we just need to be open to them!)