Tradition Unchanged

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

The following description of the monastic vows ceremony from 1849 can be compared to that in 2024. Not much has changed.

“An occurrence as happy as it is important to be noted occurred on April 15, 1849. On that day the first members of the young monastic family were secured for the Order by means of their solemn vows and consecrated to God. In the presence of an assembly of many people, who had never witnessed a sacred rite of this sort, Frs. Benedict, Placidus, and Celestine pronounced their vows in a loud voice before their spiritual father, promising stability in the Order, conversion of morals, and obedience, according to the Rule of St. Benedict.6 From now on they were to be dead to the world, living for the Lord alone. As a reminder of the interior act of the will, they lay prostrate before the altar, a large black pall with a while cross was spread over them, and burning candles were placed at the four corners. Even the church bell tolled as for a funeral.”

—Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B.

—From Boniface Wimmer, Abbot of Saint Vincent in Pennsylvania, translated by Dr. Maria Von Mickwitz and Father Warren Murrman, O.S.B., editor.