20 Oct Br. Adrian’s Solemn Profession
On Wednesday 28th September, the Community, along with friends, family and visiting Religious from a number of communities, joined together to celebrate Br. Adrian’s Solemn Profession of monastic vows. Although we count anniversaries from the date of Simple Profession, a Solemn Profession is still a day of great rejoicing as the monk or nun gives themself without reserve to this Community, and to the Religious Life.
Althought much of the liturgy for a Profession is ‘set’, each such service still manages to reflect something of the character of the individual concerned: Br. Adrian’s choice of opening hymn, “Crown him with many crowns”, set a tone both of joy and reverence; a deep awareness of the holiness of the God we worship, expressed with enthusiasm and a certain ‘pomp and circumstance’, as the Thurifer, Crucifer, Deacon and Bishop processed into the Oratory. The Bishop in question was our Bishop Visitor, Anne Hollingsworth, the bishop of Aston in the diocese of Birmingham. She led our opening prayers, and then welcomed us all, reflecting on how counter-cultural it has become to commit oneself to one place in the way that Br. Adrian was about to do. She also drew a connection between the mourning for the late Queen, which had revealed a deep appreciation of her steadfastness and devotion to duty, and the same steadfastness that is seen in a monastic community such as ours.
The service continued with a reading from Jeremiah given by Don, Br. Adrian’s father, and then from Psalm 139, given by Lee, Br. Adrian’s mother. Following the Gospel reading, from Mark 10, Br. Michaël, who had been Br. Adrian’s mentor during his time in Simple Profession, preached, exploring the often cyclical nature of our life in Christ, where his life forms for us a beginning, an end and an ever-renewing daily pattern. You can read the full sermon here: Sermon for Br. Adrian’s Solemn Profession.
Br. Stuart read from the Prologue to the Rule of St. Benedict, after which followed the actual profession, a part of the service that includes many beautiful and symbolic moments, including the Litany, during which Br. Adrian prostrated himself in front of the altar, the reading and signing of his Charter of Profession, and finally the solemn blessing (of Br. Adrian) and the presentation of his Profession Ring by the Abbot.
The service then continued with a joyful exchange of the Peace and the sharing of Holy Communion. After the service had finished, we processed out into glorious sunshine, for some photos followed by a lovely lunch, and a delicious and beautifully decorated cake. Click on the image below to see a selection of photos from the day.