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Bathing Customs In Communities


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Ok. I am very curious about bathing in religious communities. Is it sponge baths with a weekly shower? Are you on a particular schedule? If there is an older thread concerning this, that would be lovely too. If you have been in community was it hard to adjust to it or not much of an issue? (This all started with my jacuzzi tub comment in the peace in Discernment thread, lol.) Thanks all!

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If you are an apostolic religious who works in a professional field - say nursing or education - showering is going to be important to save souls. People aren't going to go near you if you stink... u

So this morning I jumped in for a quick shower. I skipped a step in my face washing/exfoliating routine which I think gave me an extra 3 minutes. I stepped out about 18 minutes later and I was very

This is all really good to know about one's hair & the veil. Must take notes for future reference! And now...I'm off to Mass, the 5pm'er aka the "sinner's Mass". As in, what on God's green earth w

All the communities I have discerned with have had a weekly bath night, I think this is still pretty much the norm. The other nights have varied and I think in many ways this depends as much on the sister:bath ratio as on tradition! For example, at Q we had a nice, modern shower room with 4 (I think!) shower cubicles plus another couple of showers in the house, but only a few baths. So with a big community (24 the highest while I was there) baths were strictly once a week unless you were ill and had an early night, but you could shower whenever you wanted - as my jobs were mainly sweaty, smelly ones :blush: I would quite often grab a shower during the day. There were also sinks with hot and cold water and the vast majority of sisters would use these to wash, tho one or 2 still washed in their cell.

At NH every sister has an early night a week, and on that night has a bath or shower 'saved' for them - most prefer baths, but its free choice. Any sister may have another bath or shower whenever they choose and can fit it in, but not in that evening timeslot - morning showers are permitted for early risers too, as the bathroom is away from the cells. Aside from that, sisters wash in their cells using cold water - this includes cleaning teeth in the cell.

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Oh just to add my slightly amusing first experience of convent showering....


When I first visited Q I had had a long, hot drive up from work on the Friday evening, arriving far later than planned. After being fed (and not recognising most of the food, resulting in a pickled onion and jam sandwich!) I was whizzed into recreation for the last few minutes before being taken and shown my cell and the showers. I got in the shower, turned it on, and briefly wondered at the very low pressure. Oh well I thought, this must be 'poverty'. I shampooed and then struggled to rinse my thick, waistlength hair and then went to turn the shower off - only to realise I hadn't actually turned it on properly! One thing that taught me is that if something seems particularly odd, don't necessarily assume it is meant to be so - ask your NM, she will have had similar questions before and the worst she can say is no!

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That reminds me of Mother Mary Francis PCC's story about entering the monastery as a postulant and not having soap in her cell. She'd heard that Poor Clares didn't use soap so she just bravely resigned herself to a soapless future...until her NM realized the mistake and brought her a bar of Ivory.

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[quote name='she_who_is_not' timestamp='1316886602' post='2309282']
That reminds me of Mother Mary Francis PCC's story about entering the monastery as a postulant and not having soap in her cell. She'd heard that Poor Clares didn't use soap so she just bravely resigned herself to a soapless future...until her NM realized the mistake and brought her a bar of Ivory.
[/quote]

Oh thats a point! One thing I really had to take a deep breath over was that at Q soap was communal - it was just in the shower cubicles/bathrooms. As it happened, my super-sensitive skin objected and I had to have 'special' but its one thing where things do vary community to community. There was no soap in the bathroom at NH, shampoo and bubbles, but not bar soap, each has their own.

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[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' timestamp='1316893449' post='2309320']
We have showers each day... and Mother insists that sisters take them! Sometimes folks are tempted to skip showers and study/accomplish work/etc.
[/quote]

Wow!!
































Dare I admit I don't even do that in everyday life??? :blush:

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[quote name='faithcecelia' timestamp='1316893600' post='2309321']

Wow!!
































Dare I admit I don't even do that in everyday life??? :blush:
[/quote]

I don't either! o_O Every other day, though ;)

I think it's mostly because there's usually a fair bit of physical activity each day... either sports or work or whatever it might be.

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[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' timestamp='1316893718' post='2309322']

I don't either! o_O Every other day, though ;)

I think it's mostly because there's usually a fair bit of physical activity each day... either sports or work or whatever it might be.
[/quote]


Thats makes sense, especially as clothes tend not to be washed as often as they would in secular life. Out of interest, how often are your sisters habits washed? I was [i]horrified[/i] at Q when I was told they were only washed monthly, but now don't bat an eyelid knowing NH wash theirs 6mthly! It shows how you adjust and the new situation becomes normal.

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Okay Faith, please clarify this for me...are the habits washed once every 6 months, or 6 times per month? I think I already know the answer, but just want to make sure. At our house, when one of us wears the same clothes longer than the other would iike, we joke about the clothes having a life of their own :notworthy:

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[quote name='Francis Clare' timestamp='1316897180' post='2309335']
Okay Faith, please clarify this for me...are the habits washed once every 6 months, or 6 times per month? I think I already know the answer, but just want to make sure. At our house, when one of us wears the same clothes longer than the other would iike, we joke about the clothes having a life of their own :notworthy:
[/quote]

Every 6 months. Under garments are washed more frequently (tops, cottes, etc) and underwear as you would outside.

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[quote name='faithcecelia' timestamp='1316895315' post='2309330']


Thats makes sense, especially as clothes tend not to be washed as often as they would in secular life. Out of interest, how often are your sisters habits washed? I was [i]horrified[/i] at Q when I was told they were only washed monthly, but now don't bat an eyelid knowing NH wash theirs 6mthly! It shows how you adjust and the new situation becomes normal.
[/quote]

Actually, I think they're washed once per week... or maybe it's every other week. But it's definitely more than once a month. And after vows, you have two habits. So you wear one for a week, while the other is being washed on its assigned day, and then wear the other, while the first is being washed.

Although... there are times when it's a much longer wait before washings... like,you know, when our washer doesn't work *cough* and we have to take our stuff to the other convent in the area and we have to decide what is imperative to wash and what can wait... not that that's happened/is happening... :whistle:

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[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' timestamp='1316898854' post='2309348']

Actually, I think they're washed once per week... or maybe it's every other week. But it's definitely more than once a month. And after vows, you have two habits. So you wear one for a week, while the other is being washed on its assigned day, and then wear the other, while the first is being washed.

Although... there are times when it's a much longer wait before washings... like,you know, when our washer doesn't work *cough* and we have to take our stuff to the other convent in the area and we have to decide what is imperative to wash and what can wait... not that that's happened/is happening... :whistle:
[/quote]

We had 2 from Clothing so one for when the other was in the wash. My 2nd was an old one, darned in places, but I loved it! It fitted so much better than my new one and was longer too. Oh well, I will get given what I am given :saint:

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[quote name='faithcecelia' timestamp='1316899115' post='2309350']

We had 2 from Clothing so one for when the other was in the wash. My 2nd was an old one, darned in places, but I loved it! It fitted so much better than my new one and was longer too. Oh well, I will get given what I am given :saint:
[/quote]

Yeah, I think the first one they get is "used" and then when they profess first vows, they're given a second "new" one that is fitted specifically for them. :)

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