Celebrating the Sacred Liturgy in a Benedictine house is always a little intimidating for a rough-edged secular such as myself. Everything is so perfect that I tremble in case I commit some liturgical solecism and mess things up. Sr Sacristan had all the books prepared for me and I think I managed OK. God has mercifully given me the ability to sing and provided me with good tuition in Latin so those are two obstacles removed, but I did try to pay careful attention to the rubrics of the Missal of Pope Paul VI.
Above you can see a view of the beautiful choir which is seen by the celebrant. It is filled with sisters of all ages, from young postulants, novices, and simply professed, to those venerable long-standing members of the community who still give so much from their experience.
Here is a photo from Vespers in the afternoon: the incensing of the altar at the Magnificat:
At recreation after None, there was a gathering of all the community to celebrate Sr Claire's jubilee with songs and laughter. As with all contemplative communities, the sense of joy is infectious.
After the various party pieces, there was an opportunity for all the community to come to the grille and meet the visitors. This was a lovely occasion for me, since I had the chance to greet and chat with sisters whom I have seen in choir over the years but not met in person.
Naturally, the youngest of the guests received some special attention:
There was a special moment for Sr Claire and her four brothers: