I made my First Vows to the Single Consecrated Life on 03/02/13 at St Swithin's, Walcot, Bath. The date was, of course, Candlemas, which apparently is a common day for monks and nuns to take their vows, relating to the theme of Christ being presented to God in the Temple.
Accordingly, the Gospel reading we used was the one set for Holy Communion for that day, Luke 2.22-40. For the other reading, Romans 12.1-8, set for Morning Prayer, seemed the most appropriate; it was read in sign language by a Deaf member of the congregation (with a "voice-over" from an interpreter), reflecting the fact that I work with Deaf people. Phillip Tovey delivered an excellent homily on gifts and vocations.
The most moving part of the service for me was when I knelt before Bishop Peter and he anointed me with oil. I definitely felt different afterwards.
I was really blessed by the support I received, not only from family and friends, but also from the wider congregation of St Swithin's.
Bishop Peter led the service brilliantly, ad-libbing from time to time in a way which gave it a real human touch amidst all the formality. My thanks go to him, and also to Br Damian SSF (my spiritual director) and Revd Simon Holland, Priest-in-Charge at St Swithin's, for all their support in the discernment process.
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