Monday, April 21, 2008

Monastic Lexicon #1


Here begins a little feature on monastic vocabulary or, more specifically, vocabulary particular to our monastic community that may or may not be so to another monastic house!

I'll begin with a word that I did not know up until a couple of years ago: clerestory. "An outside wall that rises above an adjoining roof and contains windows." Here is a view of ours from the front yard. It does look like it kinda' landed on the roof of the chapel, like a little beret or something out of E.T. but it's already hard to imagine the skyline without it! When we renovated the chapel last year, we really didn't build too much from scratch, but since we had to re-do the chapel roof because of leaking and ice damage and since there are no clear windows in it, only 16 beautiful stained-glass ones, this clerestory was added...and it is gorgeous.

And here it is from the inside--the view right as you walk into the chapel and look up.

It always reminds me of a lighthouse and, since we have three lighthouses here along our lakeshore, I guess that's understandable. Watching the morning clouds and sunrise during Morning Praise is the best treat. Even a passing storm is awesome!

Click here to view more clerestories.

Photos by Charlotte Anne Zalot, OSB