Monastic Art & Architecture

Here’s a collection of images I gathered this past week, July 17–23, 2015, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey (O.C.S.O.), located near Lafayette, Oregon; and from Mount Angel Abbey, located in Mount Angel, Oregon; taken while I’ve been on retreat at these two places of prayer this past week. Trappists and Benedictines base their daily life, as well as their art and architecture on The Rule of St. Benedict, a document written by Benedict around 525. As Benedict writes of artists,

If there are artisans in the monastery, let them practice their crafts with all humility, provided the Abbot has given permission . . .”that in all things God may be glorified” (1 Peter 4:11). ~Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 57

So I’m never surprised to find beautiful artwork and architecture in at a Benedictine Monastery.


IMG_2626 copyTrappist Abbey Church

IMG_2634 copyCross above Abbey Church

IMG_2659 copyOur Lady of Guadalupe Oratory (place of daily prayer)

IMG_2650 copyCarving of Grape Cluster on Door into Abbey Church

IMG_2665 copyImage of “Our Lady of Guadalupe”

IMG_2667 copyAbbey Dormitory looking out upon Abbey Cemetery

IMG_2636 copyTrappist Porter’s Lodge and Porch (Guesthouse)

IMG_2635 copyGuest Cottage named “St. Benedict” where I stayed

IMG_2669 copySign on Bethany Prayer House


IMG_2701 copyMount Angel Abbey Church and Bell Tower

IMG_2719 copyMount Angel Abbey Sanctuary

IMG_2721 copyThe Oratory (place of daily prayer). Benedictine daily prayer takes place five times a day, including Vigils at 5:30am, Lauds at 6:30am, Day Hour at 12:15pm, Vespers at 5:30pm and Compline at 7:30pm. These services are usually about 30 minutes in length and are mostly singing of Scripture, especially singing the Psalms.

IMG_2720 copyStatue of St. Benedict

IMG_2694 copyAngel with Child

IMG_2695 copyCherub asking frog to observe silence

IMG_2698 copyCapital with grape leaves and Benedictine Cross on Sanctuary columns

IMG_2699 copyMount Angel Abbey Bell Tower and Guest House

IMG_2708 copyReception Lobby of Guesthouse at Mount Angel Abbey with quote from The Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 53

IMG_2710 copyWall hanging in Guesthouse

IMG_2716 copyGate to Mount Angel Abbey Guesthouse at sunset

IMG_2714 copyCloseup of cross on ironwork gate at Guesthouse