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Bathing Customs In Communities


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Hyssop, or za'atar in Hebrew, is a herb which grows as a bush. It does look like rosemary. It grows wild all over the place in the Middle East. When the leaves are dried, and ground up with garlic, salt, and sesame seeds, it makes a savory powder which is very good, sprinkled on salads or on pita bread or focaccia, with a drizzle of olive oil and stuck under the broiler [grill] for a minute or two. We also sprinkle it on certain kinds of white spreadable cheeses, and put it into bread doughs or on crackers. Yum.

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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

Ok, this "bathing" thread seems to be morphing into the "food" thread! ( :popcorn2: :burger: :muffin: :cheeese: :bananacorn: :paco2: :egg: :cake: oh, and of course :spam: - so many food emoticons, so little time)

Back to our sheep: I know of a community in which, in the 1970's, the Depositrix purchased, with the Prioress' approval, an enormous lot of soap. She got a terrificly low price on cases and cases and cases of large, heavy bars of very basic, unpleasantly scented soap the color of pea soup. Today, forty years later, bars of this soap are still at every sink in the monastery!

(perhaps this item belongs on a new thread: "economising in the convent" [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/razzle dazzle.png[/img] )

Edited by Aya Sophia
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[quote name='Aya Sophia' timestamp='1317212639' post='2311606']
Ok, this "bathing" thread seems to be morphing into the "food" thread! ( :popcorn2: :burger: :muffin: :cheeese: :bananacorn: :paco2: :egg: :cake: oh, and of course :spam: - so many food emoticons, so little time)

Back to our sheep: I know of a community in which, in the 1970's, the Depositrix purchased, with the Prioress' approval, an enormous lot of soap. She got a terrificly low price on cases and cases and cases of large, heavy bars of very basic, unpleasantly scented soap the color of pea soup. Today, forty years later, bars of this soap are still at every sink in the monastery!

(perhaps this item belongs on a new thread: "economising in the convent" [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/razzle%20dazzle.png[/img] )
[/quote]

Yeah, the economy thread! I go for it! At one convent we had this horrible waxy toilet paper in the toilets - and it turned out that they had boxes and boxes of it in their store room - they had gotten it all cheaply and had enough supply to last about 30 years! :lol:

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To bring it back on topic, you can purchase soap here that has za'atar or olive oil in it...

By the way, since this evening is Erev Rosh Hashanah, may all phatmassers be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

I will write this blessing also in Hebrew, but it might not come through.

חתימה טובה לשנה של בריאות, אושר ופרנסה.

Edited by Antigonos
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[quote name='Antigonos' timestamp='1317217413' post='2311633']
To bring it back on topic, you can purchase soap here that has za'atar or olive oil in it...

By the way, since this evening is Erev Rosh Hashanah, may all phatmassers be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

I will write this blessing also in Hebrew, but it might not come through.

חתימה טובה לשנה של בריאות, אושר ופרנסה.
[/quote]


How is this in topic for the thread of bathing customs in religious life? :think:

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[quote name='HopefulBride' timestamp='1317064416' post='2310538']

I visited a carmel in the US where the nuns had their bathrooms in suite. They explained why (I think it but I have forgotten) I don't think it is a matter of luxury.
[/quote]

As usual, I'm behind in my reading on Phatmass. If I remember correctly (and I may not be) I thought there was an active Community in the U.S. that decided to have an en-suite bathroom for each cell, so that if a Sister got sick (a cold or the flu, etc) she would be less likely to pass it on to the rest of the community. The work of the Sisters was "spread so thin" that even one Sister getting sick caused a difficulty. If I remember this incorrectly, someone please help me.

I've enjoyed reading this thread, and wish that others had contributed their experiences. I don't necessarily why I would expect this, but I expect that bathing practices would differ between active communities and cloistered, and between U.S. and European communities. In the U.S., people in secular life who work with others tend to shower every day--it's standard custom, at least in my experience. I have no idea how this would translate to active Sisters. (Since I have never been in discernment.)

Also, my gut feel is that in the U.S., taking baths (as opposed to showers) is less common. So, if a U.S. person says they bathe every day, they usually mean a shower. Part of this is that in many (most?) homes and apartments in the U.S. (and hotels) the bathtubs are VERY small--not deep enough for a good soak. (Can you tell I LOVE to take baths?) So bathtubs are used for bathing babies, but as people get older they take showers. Many college dorms don't even have a bathtub, so it wouldn't suprise me if some convents (especially newer ones) were the same.

When I was working, I used to take a shower every morning (and yes, it took only 5 minutes), but then in the evening I would take a bath to relax. But, in my house, one of the bathrooms has a "non-standard" deeper tub, while the other bathroom has the "standard" U.S. tub which is only 14 inches deep.

While we are talking about baths, for those still in secular life in the U.S., I strongly recommend the wonderful soaps of the cloistered Dominican nuns of Summit, NJ. And, every soap is packaged with prayer! (Yes, I tend to post about these soaps whenever I have a chance, and no, the nuns are obviously not paying me--in money or in soap!) The nuns' Web site is [url="http://www.monialesop.org/"]www.monialesop.org/[/url] and there is a link to the Gift Shop. The nuns have now set up a brand new blog just for their soaps! (But, I confess, I haven't visited it, yet.)

If nothing else, since I can't add my own experiences to this thread, since there are so many posts about experiences in Carmelite communities, the Dominicans needed a mention!

I'd love to hear the bathing customs of others who may have in the past been in ANY community, active or cloistered.

As to concerns raised that the subject of bathing customs in the end is unimportant in discernment--I agree, and I doubt that ANY woman on VS who is discerning would base her decision primarily on bathing customs. But, personally, I find the various customs interesting.

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
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[quote name='Antigonos' timestamp='1317217413' post='2311633']
To bring it back on topic, you can purchase soap here that has za'atar or olive oil in it...

By the way, since this evening is Erev Rosh Hashanah, may all phatmassers be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

I will write this blessing also in Hebrew, but it might not come through.

חתימה טובה לשנה של בריאות, אושר ופרנסה.
[/quote]

[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1317217607' post='2311634']

How is this in topic for the thread of bathing customs in religious life? :think:
[/quote]

Za'tar is (or is derived from hyssop) so relates back to earlier posts. (Please correct me if I have the definition of za'tar wrong.)

I thought the greeting for the Jewish New Year was very thoughtful. A Jewish friend gave me a similar greeting yesterday, and I was touched.

And, no, the greeting had nothing to do with bathing customs in religious Communities, but neither did the humorous short "detour" about whether DominicanSoul is a Carmelite at heart or the cute pictures of cats. Some of us (including myself) are not Carmelites at heart, but it does not mean that we do not respect and care for our Carmelite sisters (both in the secular and religious) sense. My understanding is that God loves members of other religous Orders as well as Carmelites--and even secular people, too.

BTW--Since the new Phatmass set-up was begun, I gained back the ability to "multiquote" (Yay!) but for whatever reason, I'm having a hard time with emoticons. I never memorized the Codes, so I haven't been using emoticons very much. As a result, I had no emoticon to show that this post was not meant to be overly serious or a correction. (Nunsense--I think (hope) you know how much I love you.)

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How I LOVE this thread!!!!!

Okay, to whomever it was who asked if I got used to the 25cm of hot water in the bottom of the tub - well, you get used to anything eventually. What was harder was the thin curtain round the bath and the proximity of the next bather........sounds, warts and all. :hehe2:
Managing a voluminous habit on one small kitchen chair when one undressed, then the towel ( far too small ) then the clean voluminous habit, all the time one's damp body kept getting entangled in the dratted curtains. I was for pulling them down and us bathing au pleine air so to speak.

Right, so at the risk of doing a total :nono: here's the next question.
Personal Products.....Sanitary Protection.
We had washable re-usable terry cotton nappy (diaper) type things. Terribly bulky, uncomfortable and not really all the absorbent. Had we not been enclosed and able to manage this situation I Don't know what we would have done.
I dread to think of the cost of providing all those Nashies with SP.........
What is/are other's experiences?

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The postulant mistress at one community I aspired with made me laugh. I asked her what we were allowed, and she said there were both towels and tampons in the cupboard and we helped ourselves. I told her I had been afraid of using the huge towels my mothet had always used and she looked me straight in the eye and said 'No, they were far, far worse!!' (like Max mentioned). She then told me that she had entered as a young divorcee and after about 4 months her postulant mistress asked if she was okay because she was never asking for towels. Turned out she had taken at least 2yrs supply of tampons with her! That sparked community discussion which led to them being allowable!

At Q it was easy - a selection of various types were available in the bathrooms for you to help yourself as you needed them.

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