arlier this year, Dom Michael Vician made his Solemn Profession at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, where he has been a monk for five years. During ceremonies lasting more than two hours, Brother Michael lay prostrate on the sanctuary floor, covered with the funeral pall whilst the Litany of the Saints was chanted, a sign of his death to the world. He then sang the three-fold Suscipe me Domine chant, (uphold me, Lord, according to your promise, and I shall live…) read his chart of profession and was clothed, in accordance with ancient custom, in the monastic cowl and presented with the monastic office book as a sign that he should ‘put nothing before the Work of God’.
St Michael’s Abbey is a small community of Benedictine monks, with an average age of 36. They have no school or parish, but live a classic contemplative Benedictine life with a strong emphasis on the Liturgy, which they celebrate in Latin with Gregorian Chant.
The community welcomed many friends for the occasion. Among them were the Prior and Premonstratensian Canons of Chelmsford, The Provost of the Birmingham Oratory and a confrere, Carmelites, Dominicans, Blessed Sacrament Fathers, and Benedictines of other monasteries, including enclosed nuns of Tyburn who were given special permission to be present. The Abbot of Farnborough, Dom Cuthbert Brogan, has served as confessor to the Tyburn community for many years.
Bishop Philip Egan attended as a guest of the monks and spoke at the end of the Mass:
“In today’s culture, organised religion and in particular Christianity, is often side-lined or relegated to the private domain. Even some of those who do profess a religion, tend to treat their faith in the manner of an ‘added-extra’, a hobby, something extrinsic to the rest of their living. Yet as we saw symbolised so powerfully in Bro. Michael’s prostration on the floor of the sanctuary, covered with the funeral pall, not only for him but for anyone whom Jesus has called to be his disciple, faith can never be an added-extra. Our love for God, our discipleship of Christ, our Catholic Faith is never just a hobby. It has to be the most important thing in life. My faith is the most important thing in my life. My love for Jesus Christ has to be the most important thing in my life. –Because Jesus Christ and His Gospel is the only way to true, genuine, lasting human happiness and fulfilment. Indeed, as St. Augustine taught, the human heart is restless until it rests in God. This is why being a disciple of Christ, being a friend of Jesus, being in love with God and giving myself entirely to him, is the most exciting adventure a human being can ever undertake….We wish you, Bro. Michael, every happiness in your vocation and we promise to pray for you that every day you will be faithful to your vows and grow deeper and deeper in love with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”