Monday, May 13, 2013

Concert At The Monastery


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!)

32 comments:

  1. The music was beautiful, I just closed my eyes and enjoyed... What a great way to spend a day. The windows are lovely and I imagine it is a very peaceful atmosphere. We have a Greek Monastery not far from here and I was scheduled to take a tour. But the Monks cancelled it and have never rescheduled..hmmmm...I wonder if someone told them I was coming??? I have a funny Greek Monk story but I'll save it for another time!

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    1. I like the idea of closing your eyes and listening!
      This should be prescribed for lowering blood pressure!
      Let's hear the funny Greek monk story!

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  2. What a beautiful place to listen to spiritual music!

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  3. Such beautiful stained glass! And the music is exquisite.

    Kay, you asked about the Sir Christopher Wren drawings. The docent said that it was the largest collection of his original drawings outside of Oxford.

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    1. Terry, I am so glad you like it too.

      Lucky you, that you were able to see his drawings!!
      "If you desire a monument, look around you". That is what Sir Christopher Wren said about St. Paul's Cathedral. (I might be paraphrasing a little, but you get the idea!!)

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  4. I can see why you love this holy place! :)

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    1. It is a holy place and there is such an atmosphere of concentrated prayer, you can sense it.

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  5. Monasteries and convents can be so peaceful to visit. Love those stained glass windows!

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    1. Yes, Debra, very peaceful.
      I am afraid that I spent a good bit of time taking photos before the concert started!!

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  6. Blogger is acting up on me today, I can't see any of the pictures, just getting white rectangles. But I am definitely going to have a look again later today or tomorrow, and I am sure it will have sorted itself out then.
    So very fitting for the monastery to become a lot easier accessible for pedestrians and cyclists!

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    1. Meike, you really don't know what a HUGE thing this is that they are building this pedestrian bridge! Cars really do rule here, so I am very grateful!
      (Hope you can will more than white rectangles! I took these photos, but even MY photos are better than white rectangles! Well, just about anyway!! HA!)

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  7. What a lovely building. I love the contemporary stained glass too and a surprising choice for people you'd expect to be fairly traditional. Loving your jubilee header! x

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    1. It is beautiful! There is one stained glass window at the very front that I didn't show you here. I will have to show you that one of another post!
      OH, we were over there last year during the Jublilee, it was great fun! xx

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  8. Love the chant! Love the pics.

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    1. Oh, I am glad. You would love the Monastery, it is so beautiful.

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  9. How nice that people will be able to approach the monastery more on foot than through traffic. Traffic destroys any peaceful states of mind, doesnt it! I love that blossom from the tulip tree. I don't suppose you can put them in a vase, but I'd love a vase with blossoms like that.

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    1. Yes! The traffic in front of Arabia Mountain sometimes is very heavy!
      You would not believe it, when I showed the lady who sat next to me my photo of that blossom, she said "Where did you get that shot?" and I told her that there were lots of them and she had no idea that she had walked right by them!

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  10. What a beautiful place. I love the stained glass windows. Hoping your Tuesday is a terrific one!

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    1. It is beautiful and I love stained glass windows, I have always loved them. I remember the ones I have seen in England too!
      Hope you have a great week ahead!

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  11. It's a lovely idea, having a walk-over bridge! This is one of those places i could go to and not leave for a good, long time.

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    1. You can always come here on retreat! In fact, this little town is quite famous for the Monastery, people come here from all over the country and from around the world (and yet, many people in this COUNTY have never visited it!)

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  12. The acoustics in that place must be awesome.

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    1. You are correct! It makes such a difference to hear music here!

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  13. I wish I were there to see the beautiful stained glass and hear the chanting. But you've shared a lot of that with us, Kay! Thank you!

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    1. Yes, and I will take you back with me again to visit. I promise you that!!
      I said a special prayer for you inside the walls of that church too! xx

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  14. It all sounds perfect ... and what lovely lovely glass. I like the proportions of the church - I'll bet the acoustics are wonderful.

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    1. The sound is wonderful. Even the SILENCE is special, if that makes any sense!
      I love stained glass so much, and I forgot to say,the monks made that too!!

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  15. Kay - The monastery is beautiful. What a perfect setting for a concert. So glad you enjoyed your day there. Your photos are wonderful as ever.
    All the best,
    Mairead

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    1. Thanks, Mairead, and I took these photos! The next time you are in Georgia, you could climb Arabia Mountain and see the Monastery! (They are very near each other.)

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  16. Churches and monasteries make excellent places in which to listen to music from the point of view of atmosphere and ambience although often the acoustics are dreadful.

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    1. The acoustics here were very good. Both my husband and son are musicians so I am a bit picky about sound quality!

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