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Liturgy

Liturgy is a word which simply means ‘worship of God’

Monks are people who feel they have a lot to thank God for - in fact they believe that they have everything to thank God for, because God created them and everything in the world - all those things which give sustenance and fulfilment and meaning to their lives.

Every day and every moment is a gift from God, so we feel the need to thank him frequently for all we have and all we are. We also want to understand God more - not that in this life we can ever fully understand him, but like a friend whose company we enjoy and whose wisdom we appreciate, we want to stay close to him and come to know him better.

Of course, like anyone, we don’t always feel great about life; we see the suffering of many people in the world; the poverty, the war, the injustice, and our own lives can bring us just as much pain and bewilderment as anyone else’s. So we are moved to bring all these bad things to God as well, to ask him to bring healing and peace, and perhaps to come to some enlightenment about why they happen; what they mean in the grand scheme of things; how to recognise God’s love shining through the world, even in its frailty and imperfection.


All of these concerns, wanting to thank God, wanting to know him better, wanting him to heal the world he created, bring the monks together in prayer several times each day. And through our liturgy we live out our vocation to be at the heart of the Church; a heart which prays constantly and helps the whole Church to carry out its mission of bringing God to the world’s attention.

Much of our prayer together consists of singing the psalms - those songs from the Old Testament which reflect on God’s love of his people, Israel, and give voice to the joy of knowing him, as well as to the successes and failures, the blessings and frustrations which all who try to follow him experience.

So we pray for the Church and the world and we do so publicly so that others can be with us as we pray. As they hear the monks’ prayers rising in song, we hope that God will make himself known to them through what we do and that they will feel their own prayer rising from their hearts.

The monks at Buckfast begin their day with worship of God at 5:45 a.m. There is a break for personal reflection, and then they come together again at 6:45 a.m. for Lauds - a prayer time whose name means ‘praise’ and is focussed on praising God for his creation which we are about to be blessed with again as the sun rises on a new day.

At 8 a.m. Holy Mass is celebrated together - the pivot around which our liturgy turns as it is the celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who saved the world from sin by his death and resurrection.

At 1 p.m. we bring ourselves back to our centre - the centre of our monastery which is the Church, the centre of our world which is our community and the centre of our lives which is the love of God. Putting to one side our work, we bring the joys and the cares of the day to our midday prayer.

The round of prayer helps us to sanctify the day by marking each of its pivotal moments with prayer. And so as evening comes, we feel the need to come together again in the Church at 6:30 p.m. for vespers - a name which simply means ‘evening’.

Finally, as we begin to yawn, we lift up our voices together before our eyes begin to close, thanking our Lord for all the day has brought us, asking him to bring peace and healing where we have failed to and praying for his protection in our vulnerability which the darkness seems to bring to mind. This last act of worship is called compline which, you might have guessed, signifies ‘completion’ and a hope that our last conscious thought will be of the love of God.

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Buckfast Bell Ringing Festival - 11th August 2018

The bells in the Buckfast Abbey Tower were given by Sir Robert Harvey. Emma Oxford, one of his relatives was present for the festival. In the photographs she is seen in the tower and in the Abbey Library where there is a bronze bust of Sir Robert. There are 15 bells in the tower with a full peal of 12 bells, 2 semitones and a Bourden bell. The Bourden bell is 7 and a half tonnes. During the ringing there was a live feed from both the ringing chamber and the bell chamber so that visitors did not have to climb the 192 steps to see the action!

Buckfast Food Festival - 21st July 2018

Summer Food Fair. Live cookery demonstrations with John Hughes, Ethan Clarke, David Beazley, Jim Fisher from Exeter Cookery School, Richard Hunt and with Fun Kitchen cookery workshops for children!

Plymouth Catholic Senior Schools Visit - 18th July 2018

Students from the Plymouth Catholic Senior Schools were entertained by 4Front Theatre Group with a presentation of the Fisherman's Tail. On the Sea of Galilee, Local fishermen Simon, Andrew, James & John tell a tale to beat them all, it involves a fishing competition, wherein a strange man appears .... The students also had an opportunity to explore the new interactive Monastic Way that offers an understanding of the monastic way of life.

Mary: Icon of the Church

Mary – Icon of the Church
The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The doctrine of the Trinity contains within it the reason for the uniqueness of humanity’s relationship with God – Jesus, being true God and true man unites divinity ...

Kindness: a School Mass

Kindness – a School Mass

Jesus says that we must love others as he loves us. We must think about what he might mean by this. In the first place we know that he showed his love by allowing ...

Baptism of Teddy

Baptism of Teddy

Living as a Christian means wanting to be a complete human being. We easily think of the Christian claim that Jesus is God, but we should also think that Jesus is a human being in the fullest ...

'Come and Sing' Charity Choral Concert

Great music from great oratorios, including works by Handel, Mozart, Haydn and others. Stanborough Chorus Christopher Fletcher: Conductor

Organ Recital (Summer series) Part 1

Organ Recital (Summer series) Includes music by Gigout, Bach, Widor and Schumann.

Feast of the Dedication of the Abbey

Community celebration of Mass for parish, staff and Oblates followed by buffet lunch. Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation will preside at the Mass.