Every year, the Benedictine sisters here at the Begijnhof renew their vows, having long ago taken their vows for life. Last year I attended the service, but it seems alas, the significance did not sank in. This year I am all ears and eyes!
Beautiful white flowers appeared before Compline (the flower sister being hard at work) in readiness for the Eucharist service. My seat is in the front row of the choir, near the altar so I have a particularly good view of the flowers and the lace edging which graces the altar cloth. The sister who made the lace edging cannot see it from her seat, maybe all the better so pride, the chief of all sins according to St. Benedict, does not creep in, which it so inevitably and easily does to mar our presence with God. The flowers are white roses and baby’s breath, then white chrysanthemums and lilies on the high altar.
So…… determined not to forget I took a picture as the blooms will possibly be all gone again, whisked away by the ubiquitous flower sister for a new arrangement for Sunday tomorrow. I clutched my hidden camera to Lauds feeling slightly guilty tucking it swiftly into my shelf. Now taking pictures of sisters and priests praying is not my style although the tourists seem to have have no such inhibition! After breakfast, I returned when the choir section is closed and quiet, no tourists as yet! Here am I sitting in my choir seat, writing this blog in the blessed peace and silence so worshipful and centering with the sweet fragrance of the lilies simply wafting over me and enchanting me with their heavenly smell. Wow! I will renew my vows; certainly in my heart as my Begijnhof sisters renew their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to their Beloved.