A Cursillo weekend is three days long, normally running from Thursday evening through to Sunday afternoon. All weekends are led by a team of lay people and clergy, who have all experienced a Cursillo weekend themselves.
During the weekend the participants (or ‘Cursillistas’) will live, worship and learn together. Talks will be given by the leaders on some of the main areas of Christian life and faith – such as grace, faith and action. These areas will also be discussed in group workshops, and reinforced with prayer and quiet reflection.
What can I get out of the weekend?
Cursillo weekends are a great way to meet people who have a common desire to deepen their relationship with God. They offer a chance to break away from the routine of service-based worship and bring a strengthening of Christian commitment within a community.
They also provide an opportunity to discover our personal gifts and use them for Christian service and leadership, so that we can build up the witness of the Church in the world that both may be renewed and transformed.
What happens on a Cursillo weekend?
We begin at tea time on Thursday evening. There is time to settle in, and to meet others who will be sharing the weekend with you – some of whom will be there as fellow pilgrims (participants), while others are members of the team that will be serving you. All members of the team have previously been pilgrims themselves and will have been working and praying together for some time in preparation for your weekend.
You will soon discover that the age range of the people there is wide and that we all come from a broad variety of backgrounds which all helps to enrich the experience. Following the Thursday evening meal (the food is excellent and you won’t have to do any cooking or washing up all weekend!) our leader for the weekend will introduce the team and explain more about what will be happening. Two meditations follow, and after our short evening service there will begin a period of silence which will last overnight.
The days begin early so be prepared. Friday and Saturday begin with a Eucharist and close with a service in the chapel. The weekend reaches its climax in the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday afternoon. After this, we make our way back home.
Teaching, Praying and Sharing
You will hear five meditations and fifteen talks (yes, it sounds a lot but it’s amazing how they fly by!). The meditations and five of the talks are given by the clergy, and the other ten talks are given by lay members of the team. During the weekend, participants work together in small table groups and there is an opportunity to respond to the talks in a variety of ways (don’t worry – you will not be put on the spot!). Each table is assigned two leaders, who will help to facilitate discussion.
The team is there for you throughout the weekend, and if you would value a chance to talk or pray with the clergy they will make time available for you. We will worship and pray together, we will learn together, we will share meals together, we will have a lot of fun together – and we may even share a few tears together. The programme is busy, and Cursillo is not really a retreat – but there are opportunities for quiet during the weekend. In other words, Cursillo is a multiple experience, which we go through individually and together in community. The weekends are soaked in prayer; people will be praying for you from the moment your application is received.
We can’t promise that every single aspect of a Cursillo weekend will be just right for you – but many people have found the experience to be a highly significant moment in their lives. Most pilgrims have a renewed experience of God’s love. For some, the weekend is a point of healing; for others it is a point at which important life decisions are made. We simply ask you to be open to God’s agenda so that you can receive from Him.