Monday, July 23, 2012

Day One, Again

We begin again, on the first full day of novitiate.

Investiture was a beautiful and moving ritual. Waiting yesterday for the ceremony to begin felt like New Year's Eve. When the moment arrived, it was better than midnight of New Year's Day. Watching the brothers get robed brought a wide grin to my face. It brought tears to other faces.

The novitiate class posed for photographs after the ceremony. I hope to obtain several of the pictures soon. Send me your e-mail address if you would like to receive them, too.

One of the brothers, long a professed friar, told me the habit looks natural on me. I take that as a high compliment and a sacred trust to uphold.

Now, on to yet another beginning. Morning prayer, meditation, and Eucharist in the main chapel at San Lorenzo Friary. Already I had liturgical parts to play, reading the antiphons bracketing the psalms and canticles at prayer, and assisting the presider at Eucharist, serving at Mass. In all, we spend 90 minutes together in the chapel. Worship was followed by breakfast, then two hours of orientation around the way we do liturgy here. Some practice of our liturgical roles, and a tour of the chapel and sacristy. Midday prayer (15 minutes) and lunch followed. I am doing kitchen cleanup most of this week, and with another novice brother, I will be aide-de-camp to the staff cook this weekend. That means we are responsible for planning lunch and dinner on Saturday. We have already conferred and planned the menu. Vegan desserts, here we come!

Been trying to keep up with e-mail correspondence with diminished computing time. It won't be easy. You can help wean me from the Internet by choosing snail mail more often than e-mail!

Orientation resumes in 15 minutes with a tour of the friary buildings and grounds. Later, another "hour" from the Liturgy of the Hours called the Office of Readings, followed by meditation and evening prayer. (Another 60 minutes in chapel.) Dinner, and then an hour of silence for spiritual reading and reflection, concluding with night prayer (15 minutes; three hours for the day). A brief time for group recreation on site, then bed. A full day for Day One.

All right, enough computing for now. Peace and all goodness to you, sisters and brothers.

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