I was moved by the number of people who came to support me as I took this step. My formation counsellor came from New York to celebrate the Eucharist. My spiritual director came from Connecticut to preach. Friends came from towns around Massachusetts. My parents flew in from Georgia. Lots of people from Saint David’s and Saint Andrew’s participated. I was a little overwhelmed and profoundly grateful.
The service itself was glorious. Masud, Gordon, and Derrick provided musical muscle up front. The choir sounded great from the back. In between was a thoroughly Churched crowd who knew how to make a joyful noise to the Lord. Best of all, I didn’t have to do anything except stand up front and follow a short script!
Standing up front, before so many family and friends, just after hearing Gordon’s sermon and just before sharing in Holy Communion, was a powerful experience. I made my lifetime vow. I put my rule of life on the altar and promised to follow it for a year (a promise I have committed to renewing each year!!). I listened to the prayers on my behalf. I received my profession cross. It was all quite something.
Yesterday remained a whirl, so today is my first chance to process what happened. I know it won’t fully sink in for a while, but I am glad to at least begin. I suspect I will miss the support I received during the formation process. I know that I will rarely experience anything that is simultaneously so personal and so dramatic as my profession service.
Now my task is to begin living the life. As Gordon said, my commitment is to follow Jesus in a Franciscan way more and more. I’ll continue to gain a better sense of what that looks like in practice. But for today, I think I’ll mostly just enjoy thinking back to Saturday and the relationships I have created over the last few years with the wonderful people of my two Churches as well as my Franciscan brothers and sisters. Thanks be to God!