Lutheran Monastery and Retreat House

Oxford, Michigan

Guest Information

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Prayer and Liturgy:

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Phone: (248) 628-5155 ext. 1

 You are welcome to attend and participate in all of our liturgical services. Guests should normally be present for at least the Holy Eucharist, Sext, Vespers, and Compline

Holy Communion may be received by all who are baptized, who desire to receive the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and who are able to receive Holy Communion in their own church. If you have questions, please speak to Fr. Richard.

It is helpful to come several minutes before each service in order to find your place in the service books and to receive any assistance you may require. Please do not extinguish candles after services, since special care needs to be taken for this.

Singing:

Since most of the liturgy is sung or chanted unaccompanied, it is necessary to keep several points in mind: always sing softly, never so loud as not to be able to hear the community; men should not attempt to sing in the lower register; please allow the leader to intone the first line or phrase of psalms or hymns.

It is not necessary to have any extraordinary singing ability to participate in the liturgy; however, if you are truly unable to sing without causing marked dissonance, it may be best to participate inaudibly or nearly so. This will not usually be a problem if it is remembered that good singing begins with careful listening.

Silence:

Certain periods of the day are set aside for silence: in the morning until after the Holy Eucharist or Terce on Sundays and in the evening after Compline. Please avoid unnecessary or loud conversation during these times. If you have a question or need, please ask in as brief and quiet a way as possible.

Out of courtesy to those who may wish to sleep it is necessary to keep the upper level of the guest house as free from noise as possible after Compline in the evening and in the afternoon until after None.

At all times please be sensitive to and respectful of the desire other guests may have for silence or solitude.

Meals:

crsmDinner and supper follow Sext and Vespers respectively. Please return from the chapel after those offices and wait in the dining area of the house for the ringing of a bell, which is the signal to come to the table. This usually involves only a few minutes wait. It is not necessary to assist preparing the table unless you have been asked to do so.

On ordinary weekdays we eat in silence listening to a taped lecture or book at dinner and to music at supper. Meals are served family style. Please pass all serving dishes to the end of the table after having helped yourself. Toward the end of the meal the dishes will be passed again and you may take a second helping as available.

Breakfast is eaten in silence on a self-serve basis. Bread, cereal, coffee, tea, milk, and juice will be available in the kitchen.

Ordinary Wednesdays and Fridays are observed as fast days.Dinner is not served on these days but simple foods will be available after Sext for those who wish to serve themselves. Breakfast and Supper are served as usual.

Beer and wine are often available with dinner on Sundays and on certain other occasions. Guests are asked not to bring with them any alcoholic beverages for private consumption.

Guests are encouraged to use their retreat time in any way that is profitable for them, and are not expected to do any particular work. If, however, you feel your retreat would be enhanced by a time of work, there are often simple tasks or chores with which guests can help. Please inquire with Father Richard.

Telephone:

Collect or credit card calls are preferable for any toll calls. Please avoid prolonged calls and calling during times of silence.

Bedroom:

Your bedroom should provide you with privacy and solitude. Heat may be regulated by opening or closing the louver on the top of the baseboard radiator. In warm weather you may open your window. Check the side latches before turning the window crank! Bed sheets, blankets, and towels are provided in the rooms.

Lights:

In order to conserve energy please turn off all lights that are not being used. After Compline all lights in the public areas on the upper and lower levels should be turned off as soon as they are no longer used. Night lights, of course, are to be left alone.

Library:

The library on the lower level is available for your use. If you remove books from the shelves please return them to the same location or place them on one of the tables in the library. Books should be returned to the library before departure. Sorry, we do not check out books.

Smoking:

Smoking is allowed only out of doors. When smoking please take every precaution against fire and do not litter the grounds.

Radios and Tape Players:

Radios and tape players equipped with earphones may be used at any time. Those which are played out loud should never be used unless special arrangements have been made.

The TV in the lower level may ordinarily be used only after supper and before Compline and Sunday afternoons. The sound equipment in the commons room should not be used by guests without permission.

path2Grounds:

Guests are welcome to hike and enjoy our 42 acres of mostly wooded property. Out of consideration for our brothers at St. Benedict's Monastery just east of us, we ask that you not wander on their grounds unless previous arrangements have been made.

Donations:

St. Augustine's House is partially supported though the free donations of retreatants. There is no fixed fee for a retreat. Because we are asked so often we suggest $30-35 per day. Offer what you are able to afford.

Arrival and Departure:

If you wish to make a retreat, please write or phone for a reservation. It is helpful for meal planning to know if you plan on arriving in time for dinner or supper. Please try to arrive no later than 8:30 in the evening.

Departing guests may assist by stripping their beds and leaving the linens on the floor of the room.