Finding Losing Finding; Easter Retreat (Laurence Freeman)

Bonnevaux is a centre of meditation and peace, of dialogue and hospitality. It is open to all – of all faiths or none – precisely because of its rootedness in the Christian life of the Spirit. This week as we celebrate the core Christian mysteries, we extend an open invitation to share the power of these teachings and to feel the light they shed on all human existence. Meditation is a key element of each part of this Holy Week; and the teaching by Fr Laurence and other members of the community will help all those participating to find a personal connection to its meaning.

Palm Sunday Contemplative Eucharist

The forty days of Lent lead today into the beginning of Holy Week which culminates in Easter Sunday and the Resurrection. This Palm Sunday Contemplative Eucharist will draw meditators and friends from around the world to share the meaning of the sacred. 

Most of our life today in the modern world is ‘secular time’ – when we earn money, do productive things or keep busy about material issues. ‘Sacred time’ opens us to the dimension we usually forget – of the spirit and the divine presence within us and within all time and activity. This week the sacred dimension of time is focused on living through the events of the last days of Jesus as recorded in the Passion Narrative that is the gospel read dramatically by a number of readers in today’s mass. 

In the symbolism of today’s liturgy, we begin by holding palm branches to recall the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem a few days before his death. It reminds us to reflect on the direction of our own lives and see how the Gospel story sheds light into the meaning we can so easily fail to recognise.

As usual with a Bonnevaux Eucharist each reading is followed by a short commentary and Fr Laurence expands on the Gospel and a meditation period follows communion before the final blessing.

No registration required. Please click here to join on 28 March – 12PM (French time).

This event is online only


Finding Losing Finding

An Easter Retreat from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday led by Laurence Freeman.

01-04 April 2021

The Easter Tree, Bonnevaux

Holy Thursday

Today’s liturgy recalls the Last Supper Jesus celebrated with his disciples. It was a religious ceremony but also a family event and time for friendship. At this particular meal Jesus spoke the words that echo down the millennia and connect each Eucharist with this moment – This is my Body.. This is my blood. The gift of this sacred meal for nourishing our spiritual journey is deeply meaningful to many.

For everyone, the other event at the last Supper is profoundly moving and a universal teaching: the washing of the feet. During the Bonnevaux liturgy we do this to and for each other. If you are with others as you are online for the liturgy we invite you to do the same. Prepare a bowl of water, a couple of towels and when the time comes remove shoes and socks and carefully, lovingly wash and dry each other’s feet. ‘If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet (Jn13:17)

The third powerful element of the liturgy is the recall of the last great tecahings of Jesus before his departure which plumb the greatest depths of his union with God and love for humanity.

As usual with a Bonnevaux Eucharist each reading is followed by a short commentary and Fr Laurence expands on the Gospel and a meditation period follows communion before the final blessing.

Good Friday

The day of Jesus’ Passion and death. A day of silence. Fasting. No Mass. No frills.  The mood is captured by a second century Christian author:

Something strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. God has fallen asleep in the flesh and has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. He has gone to search for our first parent, to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, 

Out of love for you and your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in Hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I in you; together we form one person and cannot be separated.

In the Liturgy at 3pm we read the account of the last hours of his life and reflect on how this dying of one man becomes the dying of all men and women, just as his rising touches human nature universally. Fr Laurence will comment on the power of this narrative for our own self-understanding.

At the heart of the ceremony is the is the veneration of the Cross when people freely come forward I silence to kiss or touch the Cross in the centre of the sacred place, a sign of the intimate union between the disciple and Jesus.

Easter Vigil

The long silence of Saturday ends with a succession of powerful ancient symbols in the Vigil service which begins with the lighting of the Easter Fire under the Easter Tree in the valley of Bonnevaux. There is a procession with the Paschal candle up the valley to the barn where the other rituals will be celebrated: the singing of the Exultet, the blessing of the candle and selected biblical readings that summarise the journey from creation to its new creation in the resurrection of Christ.

The spirit of the liturgy is deep and quiet but also joyful as the music and mood of the participants will show. We look forward to celebrating it with you. At dawn the Sunday we gather to stand before the rising sun as the sign of the risen Christ inclusively illuminating all humanity and creation.

Easter Sunday Midday Eucharist

The daytime mass at 12PM follows the usual style and length of the Bonnevaux Sunday Eucharist but filled with the symbols and energy of Easter day. If you couldn’t come to the Vigil, you will be welcome to celebrate Easter with us at Bonnevaux today and sing the great Alleuia. 

Christos Anesti (Χριστός Ανέστη) –  “Christ is Risen.”

Alithos Anesti (Aληθώς ανέστη!) – “Truly, He is Risen.”


Retreat Schedule (French time)

Holy Thurs

  • 6:30 – 7:00 — Meditation (not online) – optional 
  • 7:20 – 8:00      — Morning prayer & meditation
  • 10:30 11:30     —  Talk
  • 12:15            — Midday prayer & meditation
  • 13:40 15:00        — Small group discussion followed by Q&A
  • 18:00          — Washing of the Feet, Contemplative Eucharist & meditation

Good Friday

  • 6:30 – 7:00 — Meditation (not online) – optional 
  • 7:20 – 8:00      — Morning prayer & meditation
  • 9:00 10:00 Way of The Cross
  • 10:30 11:30     —  Talk
  • 12:15            — Midday prayer & meditation
  • 15:00        —  Veneration of The Cross & meditation

Holy Saturday

  • 6:30 – 7:00 — Meditation (not online) – optional 
  • 7:20 – 8:00      — Morning prayer & meditation
  • 10:30 11:30     —  Talk
  • 12:15            — Midday prayer & meditation
  • 22:30 Easter Fire, Easter Vigil & meditation

Easter Sunday

  • 8:00 – 8:30 — Meditation (not online) – optional 
  • 8:45 – 9:45      — Morning prayer & meditation
  • 10:30 11:30     —  Talk
  • 12:00            —  Easter Sunday Mass

Registration for the Easter Retreat opens soon


To reap the full benefits the retreat offers, we recommend that you meditate 2-3 times per day. 

How to Create Your Own Retreat

This online retreat is designed to be flexible around your daily life and time zone. Please visit here where we provide support on creating a rhythm and structure to your retreat: how much silence you would like, meditation times, reading of sacred texts, practicing yoga and more, plus other suggestions to help you embody the retreat and stay off-line as much as possible. 

This event is online only

Date

Mar 28 2021 - Apr 04 2021

Contribution

Suggested contribution range: €80 - €240 (€20 - €60 per day), 4 days
Laurence Freeman

Leader

Laurence Freeman