Masses and Scrolls

The monks of Saint Joseph’s Abbey accept donations for Masses and Scrolls of Enrollment.

The usual offering is ten dollars (or more if so desired) for a Mass to be offered at our monastery. Offerings of less than ten dollars are sent to missionary priests and to other houses of our Order as a way of supporting them. 

We also offer scrolls of enrollment. The scroll is a handsome document designed by one of the monks several decades ago. The name of the person to be enrolled is written out by one of our monks in calligraphic script. And the enrollment is signed by the Abbot. Such a scroll affiliates a person in perpetuity with all Masses and prayers offered at Saint Joseph’s Abbey. The typical offering for a scroll is forty-five dollars.

The person who makes an offering for a Mass or scroll will receive an acknowledgment of receipt. We accept checks but not credit cards for Masses and scrolls. Checks should be made out to the Mass Department or Scroll Department of St. Joseph’s Abbey.

Please contact us either by writing, email or by leaving a voice mail message as follows:

Mass Department (for both Masses and scrolls)
Saint Joseph’s Abbey
167 North Spencer Road
Spencer, Massachusetts 01562-1233

Phone: 508-885-8700, voice mail extension 581

The Design of the Scroll

The intricate single-line eel pattern forms the frame of the scroll, its design adapted from the openwork patterns of illuminated eighth-century Celtic manuscripts. The seemingly endless wanderings of the linework symbolize the eternity of God. The scroll’s message is finished in stylized uncial letters.

In the illuminations that frame the left margin of the scroll, a place of honor is given to Saint Joseph. He is depicted uncharacteristically holding a crozier to mark his pastoral care of the Holy Family, the Church and our monastery.

Triple shields below the capital S refer to the Blessed Trinity; the cord encircling them to the mutual indwelling of the three divine Persons. To the left a circular diptych of the Annunciation, heralds the Incarnation. To the right the Four Living Creatures- Eagle, Lion, Ox, Man- archetypes of the four Evangelists surround a fish symbolic of Saint Peter. Above is a roundel enclosing the seal of the Cistercian Order. Coiled in the lower left corner is a dragon, symbol of evil, slain by the triumphant cross of Christ.

In the center medallion in bottom border of the scroll, three monks celebrate the Holy Eucharist. In the righthand margin the three founders of our Order, Saints Robert, Alberic and Stephen are pictured, the three figures above them refer to all the Saints of the Order. And in the uppermost inset, fraternal charity is signified as two monks exchange the Kiss of Peace.

A dozen scenes of a monk’s daily round of prayer and work fill the letters of the headline of the scroll. The scroll was designed and executed in the early 1950’s by a monk of our Abbey.