Worship in the convents isn't the homey and casual encounter that I'm used to. Processing into a lovely chapel space filled with natural light and into an assigned seat, I figured I'd have to be quick to keep up.
Flipping in the worship book from one section to another, finding musical tone sequences on a different page from the words of the liturgy, I undertake all of this as a challenge and surprisingly, get a lot out of the experience.
I've learned when chanting, the format of the text makes a difference: CAPITALs signalling intonation, _underline_s note a change in inflection and *asterisk means ...
Antiphonally, we sing/chant to each other and to God. It is interesting to note the female monastic community and the male-centred worship language; makes me feel a little awkward to be in their midst. I know that bowing to the altar is an act of acknowledgement and worship, but it seems to confine the holy presence to one spot in one room of one building.
Still, I'm looking forward to the next time.