Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gifts from God: Visiting Monasteries

We were blessed to spend an afternoon at the Presentation of the Theotokos Monastery in Marshfield, MO on our annual summer drive to the grandparents.
After visiting over a lovely afternoon snack, we stepped into the stream of prayer that flows day and night all over the world in faithful monasteries.
The nuns introduced us to some instruments that often call people to prayer.
Little Builder ringing the bells (with protective ear coverings).

Hammering the simantron. Mother Alexandra explained that when the animals heard Noah beating his hammer, they heard it as a call to come to the ark; and so we also can hear the beating of the wood as a call to enter the ark of the Church of Christ.

In general Abbess Sergia and Mother Alexandra were so generous and attentive to the children. When we asked them later what they remembered about the monastery they replied,
"the sweet nuns."

During the evening prayer services, both children were unusally peaceful and quiet. Our souls indeed were nourished by the sweet and holy spiritual atmosphere in the chapel.

Thanks be to God.


  1. I love it when people take their children to monasteries. Ours have been pestering us to take them back to our "monastic home" in PA (Holy Protection). It's a VERY long drive and we'd like to head to one closer sooner.

    My experience is that women's monasteries are a little more "family friendly" than men's, but that's just a generalization. The nuns have always adored our children and the kids knew it.

  2. MOnasteries are such a nice place for little children.

  3. How wonderful! We will be making a trip to St. Tikhons on our way to visit family. I can't wait!

  4. How wonderful! We've been meaning to get down there to visit for some time. Hopefully, we'll make it happen sometime in late summer or early fall. My parents live about two hours north of there, so we can stay at Hotel Nana on the way down. Your post has inspired to me to be all the more determined to make it happen. Thanks!

  5. What a great experience for your children! I love those photos you took. We went to the monastery in Jordanville, NY last summer...and there is the one in Wayne, WV which is a 3 hour drive from us...I hope to go to "Pilgrimage Weekend" there, it is usually the last weekend of September!

  6. This is wonderful! I love monasteries and so do our children. Being a part of the monastic life is a beautiful and important part of our faith.

    Lovely pictures!

  7. The nuns frequent the church that I attend (Unexpected Joy Mission, in Ash Grove, MO). They are precious!