Oregon Road Trips: Mt. Angel

by Rainbow Bobbins

Close up of a mural in the new Mt. Abbey theology building

Close up of a mural in the new Mt. Abbey theology building

On Sunday Molly, Tony, Kenya and I headed south for a mini road trip to Mt. Angel in search of monks and beer . We couldn’t find Mt. Angel Brewery (weird, this is a small town, no one we asked knew of it) so we headed up the hill to the Mt. Angel Abby – the Benedictine Monastery. Mount Angel Abbey is a community of Benedictine Monks founded in 1882 from the Abbey of Engelberg in Switzerland. This place is a trip. The monastery has an interesting history you can read about on their website. Their grounds boast a random artifact museum with the worlds largest hairball (missed that, darn it), a 5000lb bell -Dong! muthafkr! and a new class room space that is LEED gold — pretty forward thinking. The monk and abbot we met were very inviting (right kenya?). We were lucky to get a personal tour of the Russian Museum in the back lot by the Old Believer Monk and curator of the Russian Museum. If you go, I strongly recommend checking this out — they have a room full of relics, saint bones, blood, martyr hair and nails. I was very appreciative of the time these brothers took to show us around the grounds and share their home and beliefs, I cannot say the same for my somewhat cynical and region-weary companions – but I think they secretly dug it. I really need to read up on the history of the Roman Catholic Church after visiting this place – anybody know of any entertaining reads?

Below: Mt. Angel Abbey. From the Russian Museum – paintings and relics passed down through the generations. Ornate boxes with tangible memorials to martyrs and saints. Ingredients for the preparation of the Holy Chrism.

Two previous abbeys burnt down. The big bell in the tower is 5000lbs!

Two previous abbeys burnt down. The big bell in the tower is 5000lbs!

stinabox

Ingredients The Preparation of Holy Chrism:

Ingredients for the preparation of the Holy Chrism

Ingredients for the preparation of the Holy Chrism

“Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, two hundred and fifty, and of aromatic cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin; and you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; a holy anointing oil it shall be. And you shall anoint with it the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the laver and its base; you shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them will become holy. And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. And you shall say to the people of Israel, ‘This shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. It shall not be poured upon the bodies of ordinary men, and you shall make no other like it in composition; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you.” (Exodus 30:22-33)

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