On Wednesday 4 March 2020, which for the Pluscarden community is the Eve of the Solemnity of St. Aelred, our two postulants were clothed together as novices.
In a beautiful and moving ceremony, marked of course by Gregorian Chant, Innocent Obiejinwa and Benjamin Norby became respectively our new brothers Patrick and Edmund.
The brothers were first, in turn, asked: What do you seek? Their reply: The mercy of God, and to share in your way of life. Then: If you wish to serve God in our Community, you must realise that the path which leads to him is often hard and difficult. Do you accept this? I do.
A liturgy of the word followed, with its own proper prayers, readings, chants and homily.
Then Fr. Abbot washed the feet of the postulants, as all sang the Chant familiar especially from Holy Thursday: Ubi Caritas est vera, Deus ibi est – “Wherever love is true, there is God”. Then as St. Benedict indicates in the Holy Rule, all the brethren expressed their veneration for these Icons of Christ amongst us, even with a complete prostration of the body.
The postulants were then clothed by Fr. Abbot in their new religious habit, with the short scapular proper to novices, and the Choir cloak. Then each was told (by way of complete surprise for all): “Henceforth you will be called Brother N.” The ceremony ended with a final blessing and an exchange of the Pax by all.