Orval Youth at Prayer


For 18 to 30 year olds

1. OYP is for whom ?

For all young people - boys and girls - between 18 and 30 years old who would like an experience with prayer, whether it be the first time, a rediscovery or a deepening. It's specifically about Christian prayer.

2. Why those dates ?

The final is an Sunday the day of God Resurrection.
How long ? 5 days in all (including arrival and departure). It needs to be long enough for you to be able to have a real experience, but not so long that it would exclude students who have some exams to retake.

3. Why this OYP ?

More and more young people want to discover prayer, and particularly Christian prayer. There are loads of books about it. Fortunately there are more and more places where one can learn it, received a theoretical basis and some practical tips.
In a monastic community prayer is its primary "work". We want to share some of our charisma in a setting, whose size and beauty enhance your experience in a unique way.

4. Coming by train - how do I get to the abbey ?

Via Florenville : the only bus leaves at 12.25 (from the station).
Coming from Carignan (France - 20 km from Orval) you will have to hitch-hike..

To reach Orval ...

5. Why aren't all the leaders monks ?

Prayer, as practiced with perseverance by the monks, is a treasure for the whole church. What we share can be (and is) put into practice by people with very different commitments in life. Their witness is an essential element and will help you to learn about prayer. They include couples and single people, men and women, younger and older people, contemplatives as well as people involved in social services, teachers and also those that live out their faith discretely.
You will be able to ask them any questions you may have, which could be important in directing your prayer life, and your life in general.

6. The website www.orval.be is in several languages. OYP will be too ?

As we see at other youth meetings, which everybody knows - different languages and cultures can be source of great richness. So we warmly welcome people from different horizons. People can be accompanied in different languages and there will be a translation into Dutch of the introductory conferences. Those who wish it can join a group in Dutch.

7. … and how much does it cost ?

We would ask you to give Euro 120 per person, depending on your personal circumstances. The amount should not be an obstacle to participating.
It would be easier for the organisation if you could transfer the amount before the event. This transfer is your registration. Please mention the family name and first name of the participant and the reference " for OJP " :
IBAN BE04 2670 0540 4131  
If there is any difficulty making the transfer you can register on arrival at Orval.
(See registration n° 9)

8. How many people can participate ?

About 50 people, we think.

9. When must I sign up ?

As soon as possible, as soon as you have made up your mind.

10. Any other ways of registering apart from by internet ?

We prefer you to register on the internet - that is easiest for us. Otherwise use our regular postal address, which is:
Registretation OJP
Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval
6823 Villers-devant-Orval

11. What should I bring ?

For the prayer time : a bible (but there are some New Testaments for those who don't have one).
Also bring pen and paper to make notes. That will be useful for the introductions and for making some personal notes, which you can share in small groups.
For the accommodation sheets or sleeping bag, plus toiletries.
Clothes : of course we can't be sure what the weather will be like. It can be cool at night in our region. If you like walking bring suitable shoes. If you think you will do some manual work bring appropriate clothes. And since it might rain, even in Belgium…
Musical instruments could be very useful (see the next question).

12. What is the musical backing ?

OYP is based on the "offices" of the community, the monastic prayer time. At the beginning there will be a brief song rehearsal to give you the basics, which will enable you to join in the brothers' songs.
There is another aspect. Music is a good way for participants to communicate with each other. So we welcome ideas for songs at the beginning and the end of meetings. We also want your generation to express itself. It is possible to incorporate that into our own monastic style (it won't be any unsuitable style of music). On the Sunday for the last Eucharist service we will unite our musical talents to make the mass a festive one.
That's why it's important to fill in the part about music on the registration form. If you aren't a musician, no problem. There are other ways of actively taking part.

13. Do I have to take part in the whole programme, or can one pick and choose ?

It's not like an "à la carte" menu. We expect participants to commit themselves to the full programme.
But there are times for optional activities. For example you may want to join in the "Vigiles" service (at 5 o' clock… in the morning). Then, for those who are interested and early risers, you can stay in the church or sit in other activities in other locations. So there are plenty of opportunities for the more motivated ones among you.
Officially we will gt up at 6.15 in order to have breakfast and be ready for prayers at 7 o' clock.
There will be several periods of free time, for being on your own, breaks and time for remaxing. Every afternoon: manual jobs, walking on your own or in groups.

14. Are the meals eaten in silence ?

Each meal will be different : breakfast (between 5.30 and 8.00) is self-service and in silence (with background music) ; lunch (at 12.30) all together, in silence (with background music) ; you can talk during the evening meal, giving you the opportunity to get to know each other) better.

15. Can I buy things there ?

There will be a selection of books and CD's about the bible and prayer. One of the brothers will be available to advise you.
There will also be an information desk with addresses for you to make a further personal search.

16. Maybe a surprising question but important : is there anything I should not bring ?

Computers and radios are not useful. Please don't bring any alcoholic drinks.

17. What is the meaning of the different parts of the logo ?

In the graphics there are three elements : the rose window refers to the ruins, representing the past; the church tower symbolises the location of the current community; the whole is dominated by the blue figure. This silhouette associates two letters : the J and P of OJP (the O being the circle of the rose window and the text give contours). At the same time it reminds one of the "tau", one of the forms that Christian iconographs used for the cross. You also find it in the catacombs. St Francis used it a lot for his prayer of the Pascal mystery. It's also a human attitude, expressing the meditation of the person praying and his conformity with the resurrected Christ who welcomes everyone.
The colours : the rose window is made of "pierre de France" (French sone), the stone that is typically used in the region of Gaume. The green comes from the forest of Orval. The blue is the colour of the water in the valley, which springs from the "Mathilde fountain" and its legend of the Orval name.

18. At what time does OYP start on the first day ?

Everyone is expected 11.00 a.m. so the programme can start at 12 o' clock.

19. If I have some special needs what should I do ?

We ask that question in the registration form, see item 7. Feel free to state your needs. This information will be kept confidential by the brother in charge of registration and, if relevant, the doctor responsible for the event. There will be several doctors and nurses present during the event.