A monastic church, dedicated to God: this is what we celebrate on September 17th at St. Scholastica Priory and St. Mary’s Monastery. The liturgy glitters with imagery of the New Jerusalem, the church made pure. We too, are parts of that church, and our souls take up this spirit of dedication–with glad rejoicing! At Vespers, we chant this beautiful hymn:
Jerusalem, the blessed city, called the vision of peace, which is built up in heaven of living stones, and surrounded by Angels as a bride by her retinue.
Coming down new from heaven, prepared for the nuptial chamber, so that as a bride she may be united to her Lord: her streets and her walls are of purest gold.
Her gates glitter with pearls, her inmost sanctuaries are wide open: and everyone who is persecuted here in this world for the name of Christ finds entrance there in virtue of His merits.
Her stones, polished by blows of affliction, are fitted to their places by the hands of the Builder; they are arranged to remain forever in the sacred edifice.
Everywhere be there glory and honor to God most high; equal glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the glorious Paraclete, to whom belong praise and power through everlasting ages. Amen.