A MOTHER'S LOVE...
Rare book of daily prayer, now in English.
Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) was a wife and mother. She had eight children, four sons and four daughters, two of whom died in infancy. As a young mother she was renowned for her charitable work, taking her children with her as she tended the sick and needy in her locality. Her husband died in 1344 and after receiving a series of visions and revelations she founded a new religious order, the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, popularly known as the Bridgettines. Saint Bridget was named as a Patron of Europe in 1999.
The English community of Syon Abbey was founded by a charter of King Henry V in 1415 exactly 600 years ago, to pray for him and his family, living and dead, and for the souls of all the faithful departed. On 31st August the Sisters, as the community has done throughout the past centuries, marked the anniversary of the King’s death with a Mass and Office of the Dead, just as the King requested.
Syon Abbey became the most respected and virtuous religious community in England, according to one of King Henry VIII’s advisers. It is the only English religious community to survive the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.
To this day the Bridgettine Sisters of Syon Abbey have their own unique Daily Office of Our Lady, partly composed by Saint Bridget herself while she was living in Rome from 1349-1373. This special Syon Breviary, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, once heard only in Latin and only within the churches of the Order, has finally been published in English.
It was previewed at July’s ‘Syon 600’ open-air celebration at Syon House in London and at a four-day conference at Dartington Hall in Devon. (Photos HERE).
The deluxe hardback edition, commemorating Syon Abbey’s 600 anniversary, has 560 gilt-edged pages, including 100 pages of plainchant music. (Those unable to read the music may simply recite the words.) The Breviary is beautifully bound with marker ribbons for ease of use and is approved for individual private use rather than for public worship. It will be available to buy at the end of August.
The last Syon Abbey, which had been in Devon for 150 years, closed in 2011 but the remaining Sisters still maintain their centuries-old daily prayer.
Not only are they living witnesses to the timeless love of Saint Bridget but also, through their unique daily Office in honour of Our Blessed Lady, Mother of God, they fulfil the wishes of their founder, King Henry V. The Sisters now offer this prayer book to you for your own use and invite you to share it with them.
The Daily Office of Our Lady (The Syon Breviary) deluxe, gilded, commemorative edition costs £45 (ISBN 978-0-9930346-1-9) and the 'popular edition' is £29.95 (ISBN 978-0-9930346-0-2). Add £4 for post & packing. For full details and to order, visit www.syonbreviary.co.uk or call the distributors, NBN International on +44 (0)1752 202301. Available now.
(ENDS – 511 words – Photos HERE). 3rd September, 2015.
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St Bridget's Abbey of Syon
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