15 November, 2016 - Gethsemani celebrates the anniversary of the dedication of our church




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Although the first monks arrived from France on the 21st of December, 1848, the massive task of building the church was not finished until 1866.

On that year, on the 15th of November, the church was officially dedicated.

Each year we celebrate this occasion with a solemnity. It is especially noteworthy since we make use of the 12 candleholders set into the brick of the walls above the choir, to hold 12 candles which burn from first Vespers on the 14th to Compline, on the 15th.

On this solemnity, we remember not only the anniversary of the building, but the many monks and friends of the monastery whose efforts over the past century-and-a-half have made the continued existence of this community possible.

We stand on their shoulders and and are filled with gratitude for the opportunity and privilege to carry on their work.


Consequently, my brethren, if by our abundant sup­plies of spiritual bread we are proved to be the house of the great Father of the family, if the possession of sanctity shows us to be the temple of God, if peaceful participation of a common life gives us the character of a holy city, if fervent love marks us out as the bride of the Immortal Bridegroom: then I believe I need have no hesitation in affirming this to be our own solemnity.

- Bernard of Clairvaux, "5th sermon on the dedication of the Church"



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