It is a rather tender and moving ceremony: the statio, or monastic procession into chapel of the community preceded by the litany of deceased sisters; the praying of psalms specially selected for the day by the sisters celebrating; the renewal of vows; and my personal favorite—the singing of the Suscipe, a back and forth between the sisters and the community as we repeat:
Uphold me, O God, according to Your word
And I shall live,
And do not fail me in my hope.
It made me teary-eyed, yes. To think of living these vows of stability, obedience, and conversatio with steadfastness, for better or worse, through whatever life brought—wow, wow, wow!
It gives me such hope as I grapple with what my commitment to these vows looks like, with what it means for me to say “yes” to the monastic life here in a community of ninety women, with my own discernment journey. To know that I have said yes to a tradition so much grander than simply my own yes, to feel the love of so many women—some that I know here and now, some that I have never met...days like these are sure treasures along the way.
Congratulations and blessings to you all, Rosanne, Sue, Jacinta, and Ann. I am grateful—so grateful.
Let us walk in the holy presence.
A quiet start to the morning—so peaceful, and such luxury—summer
The melons waiting to be filled with sweet ripeness
The tables decorated with photography by Ann and Sue
Jubilee candle holders ready to go
I went in for a sneak preview of chapel.