Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Day in the Life of Seminarian

8:00 a.m. ~ Chapel. Time to ring the Angelus on our 140 year old, one ton bell "Michael". Each student is responsible for a one week rotation of Chapel duty in the morning and afternoon (such as Bell Ringer) each semester.
Chapel begins with the ringing of the Angelus. We then have Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist in St. Mary's Chapel (one of 7 chapels on campus) every morning. Attendance is mandatory Monday through Friday.
9:00 a.m. ~ Breakfast and Dish Crew. On weekdays we go straight from Chapel to the Refectory (that's old school for cafeteria). We have thirty minutes for Breakfast and twice a week each of has a turn on Dish Crew.
9:40 a.m. ~ Classes. Each morning we have class from 9:40 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. when Michael rings the Angelus again. This term I have Hebrew, Old Testament, Systematic and Historical Theology and Homiletics.
12:30 p.m. ~ Lunch and Dish Crew. Back to the Refectory for a quick Lunch.
1:15 p.m. ~ Work Crew et al. Each student is assigned to a Work Crew for one afternoon each week. I am on Ourdoor Work Crew which includes shoveling snow, splittng wood, mowing grass, etc. On the other afternoons of the week we have Choir practice, Work Scholarship (part-time paid job), Chapel Rehearsals and meetings for things we belong to such as the Mission Board, Worship Committees, etc.
Our preparation for ministry, or "formation" as we're fond of calling it, as seminarians at Nashotah House is based upon the Benedictine monastic model of Prayer, Work and Study. So Work Crew and Chapel are is just as much apart or our formation as Classes.
During a Free Moment ~ Taking some personal time to pray and be still before the Lord. Not making time to be alone with Our Lord Jesus is the spiritual equivalent of driving on fumes....eventually you'll stall.
4:30 p.m. ~ Chapel. We officially end our day in Chapel, donning our Surplice to chant Evensong (sung Evening Prayer) . While our day is officially over...the fun is just beginning.
5:15 p.m. ~ Head Home. Time to regroup at the Circle "P" Ranch and be a Husband and Dad. Here I am walking past Michael the Bell after Evensong on a typically beautiful, snowy Wisconsin evening.
5:30 p.m. ~ Family Time. Chef Booj prepares the evening meal! Dinner time, some sword-fighting, maybe a movie on special nights then its time for Dad and the Mancub to read some stories for his bedtime.
Story Time ~ Okay. So these are not our typical bed-time stories (but the picture kind of works). Actually I'm reading for Historical Theology here while the Mancub is diving into the Early Fathers. He's an avid reader of Hagiography actually...a highly under-rated form of Children's Literature in my opinion, I think it wonderfully inspires kids imaginations and faith. Some faves are St. George, St. Nicholas of Myra and St. Herman of Alaska and any Niko Chocelli children's books (they're amazing!).
8:30 p.m. ~ Study and Write Papers. Just when you thought the seminary day was over....now it's time to study! Memorizing Hebrew vocab and grammar. Reading theology until there's pinwheels in your eyes. And papers, papers, papers!
All Work & No Play... One of the wonderful blessings of seminary are the friendships we've made here. We definitely play as hard as we work. And no, we're not the Village People...this is my comrades and I studying for a Hebrew Exam. We found a hilarious Yiddish Alphabet song on YouTube (in an effort to help memorization) where the characters wore ridiculous costumes...therefore the Missus provided us with these in order to follow their shining example.
The Study Carrel ~ A seminarian's home away from home....our Study Carrel in the Library. This is where the magic happens and blank pages become papers. Many a bleary-eyed night get passed here burning the midnight oil while positing the mysteries of such things as the Holy Trinity, Salvation and whether or not I'll look better in a band collar or a tab collar .
?:00 a.m. ~ Sleep. And what do seminarians dream about? Ordination. Finished papers. No more Hebrew. Getting more sleep.
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