Monday the 3rd of October was a very auspicious day for Abbot Anselm and the community of Pluscarden Abbey. Father Abbot was to receive his Solemn Abbatial Blessing from the Bishop of the diocese. Not just any Bishop but Father Abbot's predecessor; His Excellency Bishop Hugh Gilbert O.S.B. A very rare occurrence indeed.
I was very fortunate to receive an invitation to attend and so, after picking up a fellow oblate enroute, had a very pleasant early morning drive to the Abbey. Things looked very hectic but under the direction of the new prior Fr Benedict (ex army officer and gentleman), the organisation and last minute rehearsals were soon dealt with.
Mass was without doubt the highlight of the day; a very solemn and devout liturgy with something I do not often experience at Novus Ordo Masses - contemplative prayerful silence. Bishop Hugh's Homily, a eulogy from His Eminence Cardinal O'Brien plus a response from Abbot Anselm were a joy to listen to; Br Michael was in excellent voice as cantor with Abbots, Abbesses, monks, nuns, religious and diocesan priests plus interdenominational guests also joining the procession into the Abbey Church.
|Fr Abbot says a few wise words to the Bishop's amusement whilst the Cardinal looks on.|
After Mass there was, in best Benedictine tradition, a bun fest where everyone ate, drank and chatted meeting old friends and new.
As usual I took some photos but as I was restricted in where I was permitted to go I was unable to capture the actual blessing - not that this detracted in any way from the day I hasten to add. Being there was more than enough for me.