Sr. Maria Isabel's Clothing Ceremony

The clothing of a novice, in which the candidate receives the habit, a white veil and her name in religion, is a simple ceremony, held outside of the celebration of Mass and the Divine Office.

Postulant Marlene Gomez before Vigils the morning of her clothing.

The community gathers in the church, and the Rite begins with the singing of the antiphon Venite filii, "Come, children, and hear me, that I may teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 33:12). The words echo St. Benedict’s invitation to the monk at the beginning of his Rule.

After the postulant is presented by the Novice Mistress to the Prioress, she kneels before her, wearing the tunic and cincture of the habit. The Prioress asks: What do you ask? The postulant answers: The mercy of God, the grace to share your monastic life and to begin my novitiate in this priory of St. Scholastica.

The Prioress presents the Rule: You have come here to seek God. To help you in this quest, St. Benedict offers you his Rule. You have read it; you know its demands. You are entirely free to accept or refuse it. The postulant replies: My hope is in God, I trust in his mercy. Readings from the Prologue of the Rule and the Epistle to the Hebrews follow.

The postulant kneels and the Prioress says: Receive the habit of St. Benedict as a sign that you are now enrolled in the school of the Lord’s service.

The Prioress clothes her in the scapular, symbol of the yoke of Christ, and the white veil...

...The veil takes a little time!


The Prioress says: From now on your name will be ... Sister Maria Isabel.

The Prioress presents a candle and says:

May Christ be a lamp for your steps ...

... and a light for your path. The Our Father is said by all, then a prayer for the novice.

The new sister is welcomed with the kiss of peace.