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The Brethren Of Syon Abbey And Pastoral Care

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Chapter Summary

Many of the brothers who joined the Bridgettine Order were scholars whose learning and wisdom were valued beyond the walls of the monastery; this was especially true of those at Syon Abbey during its pre-Dissolution and immediate post-Dissolution periods. The role specified in the Rule for the brethren makes clear, however, that beyond duties usual to monastic life, they had other tasks of almost equal importance. The foremost among these was preaching in vernacular on Sundays, not only for the benefit of the nuns, but also for the lay community both those living in the precincts of the monastery and nearby, and those who came from farther afield on pilgrimage to obtain one of the pardons associated with the Order. Apart from the Orcharde of Syon, which was printed by the lay steward of Syon for a wide audience, the brothers made only token gestures of inclusion towards secular readers.

Keywords: Bridgettine Order; monastic life; Orcharde of Syon; pastoral care; post-Dissolution periods; preaching; Syon Abbey; vernacular



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