ABOVE: Ann Evans leads the group in the Bridgettine chants – now in English for the first time. (Photo: Joy Hanson)
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melodious Bridgettine chants from Vespers.
Organiser Joy Hanson reported that she and Adrian had launched a new Facebook page called St Bridget's Friends which has members as far away as Australia and Washington, and invited everyone to join a celebration of St Bridget's feast day on the afternoon of Sunday 23 July at the Violet Evelyn Centre at Buckfast Abbey.
Sister Anne was pleased to meet fellow Christians keen to use this unique prayer book. She made her departure back to Plymouth in a black Mazda sports car driven by Adrian's P.A. Amanda!
PARISHIONERS of St John's, St Mary's and St Mary and St George RC churches, writes Joy Hanson, were pleased to welcome Sister Anne Smyth O.Ss.S. – the last Lady Abbess of Syon Abbey – to St John's, Bridgetown, Totnes [Devon, U.K.] on 16th May 2017 to help them to say prayers from The Syon Breviary she published in 2015. This was the first time this ancient breviary had been published in English.
The prayers have been sung and said for over 600 years since the formation of the Order by St Bridget of Sweden, giving this community of Sisters the unique reputation of being the only monastic order with unbroken history from before the Reformation. After fleeing to Flanders from Isleworth in 1559 they settled later in Lisbon for 267 years.
In 1861 they returned to Dorset then Chudleigh, establishing their last Monastery in 1925 at Marley House, Rattery. The three remaining Sisters moved to Plymouth and into residential care in 2011 . Sadly two sisters passed away in 2015 leaving Sister Anne who is still very active.
With the help of Adrian Wardle, editor of this beautiful prayer book – the Daily Office of Our Lady – Sister gave a PowerPoint presentation about the history of the Order and The Syon Breviary making it now possible for anyone to use the ancient daily office of the previously enclosed community which was founded in 1415 by King Henry V.
The group learnt how to use the book to pray Lauds, the morning Office of each day.
Ann Evans a former Sister of the Assumption, and Gregorian chant teacher taught the group how to sing two parts of the
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