palm sunday at Mosteiro São Bento, RJ

Posted on 10 April 2007


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Went to St Benedict’s Church on morning of Palm Sunday. It was packed like sardine! And, being an old church (built in 1617), didn’t expect any air-con, but didn’t expect still air too. In summary, during the mass : No seat, stood somewhere inside the church, was either grasping to understand what the priests said in Portuguese, or trying to match what they said with the mass’s guide (where are we now, scanning each lines). Was a long mass – duration 2 hours.
One cool thing is they have Gregorian chant on every Sunday’s morning mass (This mass included too). The chanting is in Portuguese (I guess – can’t comprehend what they were saying) Sounds exactly like the Gregorian Brothers music Roll used to have.

Some interesting thing about the church:-
– built by Benedictine Order
– have Gregorian chants on Sunday 10am morning mass.
– have church (1617) and monastery (1633)
– interior decorated with rich baroque carvings, and covered with gold papers – church was built 20 years after foundation of Rio de Janeiro
– it is third oldest abbey in the Americas
– collection includes : 2 large silver chandeliers weighing 227 kilo each, priceless library of books

Our current pope (Pope Benedict) is called Papa Bento in Portuguese. Benedict = Bento. I couldn’t figure out what was English name of ‘Bento’ until this last trip.

Since I do not normally search to verify my doubt regarding Portuguese words (as what happened with Bento = ?? in English) ~ instead, I would prefer to think over it, and to see whether I could decipher/make sense out of the foreign words. Guess this is how I could remember better the words I learnt. This is also why I never really advance in my Portuguese language – too slow. The next doubt I have in mind is whether ‘Saint’ equals ‘São’ or ‘Santo’. How to find out? Lets think over it in sleep… gd nite! time to doze off…..

Posted in: travel