The Rite of Solemn Monastic Profession

There are several elements to the rite of solemn monastic profession.  The rite itself takes place at mass.  It begins following the homily and ends just before the offertory.  The abbot presides.  I’m including photos of Brother Stephen’s recent ceremony to illustrate the various elements.

Homily and Instruction

Homily and Instruction

Abbot Mark delivers the homily and instruction

Litany of the Saints

Litany

Bro. Stephen lies prostrate as the cantor sings the Litany of the Saints

Profession

Bro. Stephen reads out the solemn vow formula in the presence of Abbot Mark and the monastic community

Bro. Stephen reads out the solemn vows formula in the presence of Abbot Mark and the monastic community

Suscipe

Suscipe

“Uphold me Lord according to your promise and I shall live. Let my hope in you not be in vain.”

Brother Stephen sings the words of the Suscipe three times.  This is followed by the Abbot’s prayer of consecration.

The Cuculla

Cuculla

Abbot Mark vests Bro. Stephen in the cuculla, the sign of solemn monastic profession.

The Sign of Peace

Bro. Stephen receives the sign of peace from each member of the monastic community (pictured here is Father Benet).

Bro. Stephen receives the sign of peace from each member of the monastic community (pictured here is Father Benet).

The Eucharist

After the conclusion of the rite of solemn monastic profession, the Abbot celebrates the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

After the conclusion of the rite of solemn monastic profession, the Abbot celebrates the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

 

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Brother Stephen’s Solemn Profession

At mass on July 12, 2014 Brother Stephen Lawson, OSB professed his solemn vows to the monastic community of Saint Anselm Abbey.  On this occasion he received the distinctive black robe associated with solemn vows, referred to as a cuculla (sometimes also referred to as a cowl).  In the group photo below, Brother Isaac is also wearing a cuculla, whereas the other monks are wearing mass vestments, as the photo was  taken at the conclusion of mass, and they are all ordained members of the clergy.  They would wear their cucullas on solemn occasions other than mass.

Solemn Vows Brother Stephen

Front: Brother Stephen and Brother Isaac (Stephen’s Junior Master);
Back: Father Peter (Subprior), Abbot Mark, Bishop Joseph (Novice Master), Father Mathias (Prior)

 

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New Juniors 2014

Profession Day

The newly professed Brothers Ignatius and Paul are standing before the abbey’s religious superiors, from L to R, Father Peter (subprior), Abbot Mark, Bishop Joseph (novice master), Father Mathias (prior)

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First Monastic Profession

At mass today on this Feast of Saint Benedict, the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey were pleased to welcome Brothers Paul and Ignatius into simple vows.  The two novices, Brother Paul (Scott) LeSage and Brother Ignatius (Andrew) Membrino professed their simple monastic vows by reading the following formula:

I… promise with vows valid for three years,

before God and his saints

in the presence of our father in Christ, Abbot Mark Cooper,

and the monks of this monastery,

stability in this community,

conversion through a monastic way of life,

and obedience according to the Rule of our Holy Father Benedict

and the law proper to our Congregation.

Congratulations to Brothers Paul and Ignatius on this happy day for our monastic community.

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A Visit from the Stanley Cup

Stanley Cup

Left to Right: Father Jude, Hubie McDonough, Brother Stephen, Father Jerome

Thanks to College alumnus, Hubie McDonough, ’86, several monks got to see the Stanley Cup on campus yesterday.

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Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

After having finished Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, we have begun reading Eric Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer:  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  In between the two we also read some selections from Pope Francis’s Only Love Can Save Us:  Letters, Homilies and Talks of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

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Annual Retreat 2014

This year’s retreat master is Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary bishop of Westminster (England).  While not a Benedictine or a monk, he holds the titular sea of Lindisfarne.

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