Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation

 

RITUAL OF MONASTIC PROFESSION

1984

 

1:1-3

 
PART I

RITE OF ADMITTANCE TO THE NOVITIATE

I. GATHERING OF CANDIDATES

1. The postulants gather before the abbot or are escorted to him by the novicemaster.
 

II. REQUEST

2. The abbot asks the postulants:

What is your request?

They answer: We seek admittance to your way of life.

Or: We seek the mercy of God and fellowship in this community.

They may prostrate as they answer.

3. Instead of the above question and reply the novicemaster may speak on behalf of the postulants saying for example:

Father Abbot, these young men request admittance to our way of life.

Or the postulants may state their request in their own words.

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1:4-8


III. ADMONITION
 

4. The abbot addresses an admonition to the postulants. such as:

My dear young men, we recognize your desire to undertake our way of life, but as the Apostle says:
"Test the spirits to see if they are from God." For this reason we cannot grant you an easy admittance.
We must first observe whether you truly seek God, and show concern for the Work of God, for obedience, and for reproaches. We must also tell you all the hardships and difficulties which will lead you to God. For the present, then, we receive you as Christ himself and permit you to enter the novitiate.

If words other than these are used, the abbot may ask the postulants whether they have understood his instructions and intend to comply with them.  When he has received their affirmative reply, he may say:

Then I admit you to the novitiate.

The community may respond:

Amen.
 

IV. SIGN OF ADMITTANCE

6. As a sign of admittance the abbot may wash the feet of the novices and, where it is customary. confer upon them the vesture or insignia proper to novices.
 

V. READING AND PRESENTATION OF THE RULE

7. To indicate that the year of formation has now begun. the abbot or novicemaster may read the opening paragraph of the Rule to the novices.

8. He may then present each of them with a copy of the Rule saying:

And now, that you may know what you are entering. I confide to you this holy Rule which sanctified our fathers. By the grace of God may it come your way of life.

The community may respond: Amen.

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1:9-11

VI. PRAYER
 

9. The abbot enjoins the community to pray for the new novices, saying for example:

Let us pray.

Loving and merciful Father,
through the humility of your Son
you show us the way of return to you.
Look upon these servants who wish to follow him to glory.

Open their eyes to your divinizing light
and their ears to the voice of your Spirit.
Ready their hearts and bodies for obedience to your commands,
and where human nature is powerless,
give them the help of your grace.

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

10. If the rite of admittance takes place at Vespers. the above oration may be omitted and mention of the new novices may be made in the intercessory prayers at the end of the Hour.
 

VII. KISS OF PEACE

11. The abbot and community may give the kiss of peace to the new novices.

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Part II

 

Rt. Rev. Peter Eberle OSB
Abbot President
Swiss-American Congregation
Mount Angel Abbey
St. Benedict, OR 97373
Tel. 503-845-3304; fax: 503-845-3202
E-mail: abbotp @ mountangelabbey.org

 

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