Throughout the Church’s year we unite with the entire Body of Christ to celebrate the feasts of saints and holy days. But The Solemnity of the Dedication of our Abbey Church is ‘our’ feast day, which makes it unique and extremely special to us. In the twelve places where the Church was consecrated, we have lighted candles in special sconces; these will remain throughout the day as a visual reminder of consecration and of the light of Christ visible in our Sacraments and liturgy.
We have had a presence in Roscrea, Ireland, since 1878. Since then we have given witness to Jesus Christ through our contemplative mission as Cistercian monks of the Strict Observance. Still today, we live in the same spirit. As we celebrate the dedication of our vast Abbey Church, we remind ourselves that we, personally, are called to be buildings to house Christ. The Exsultet, which is sung at the Easter Vigil each year, has a beautiful line: “Let this holy building shake with joy.” Our Abbey Church has resounded with the chant of psalmody and the proclamation of the Gospels for 140 years and this is all a sounding-bowl as we seek a home for the Word in our hearts. Let us, the unworthy building of Christ, shake with joy this day, as we make our hearts a guest house for His eternal Word.