JUDEA – Every second Sunday of Advent, the community of monks and nuns of Abu Gosh travel to the desert to sing Vespers. A manner for them to make verses of the psalms sound in another way in their hearts and in this country that is dear to them.

“A voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Every year on the second Sunday of Advent, the oracle of Isaiah is recalled in the Gospel.

Responding to this message, it is to the desert that the Olivetan Benedictine monks and nuns of the Abbey of Abu Gosh go and sing the Sunday Vespers.

Amid the desert dunes, the psalms are sung to thank God for the wonders of creation. “It’s a way for us to live the Word so embodied. We have answered the call to a life of prayer in this particular country, a country unlike any other. When we go to the desert, as now, to live this liturgical time at the place of the life of Christ, we do not really feel we have left our monastery because we remain at the very heart of the Word.”

Community friends accompanied the Brothers and Sisters for this time of prayer outside the walls. Such surroundings readily invite one to prayer and the younger persons are much moved, as are the adults.

Since its founding in 1976, the Abbey of Abu Gosh has as its vocation to make the Word of God resound on this land so full of God, yet so wounded by human conflicts. Singing the Psalms in the desert is one way to place God at the heart of humans.

Cécile Klos

To visit the website of the Abu Gosh community: https://abbaye-abugosh.info/

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