First Profession of vows is made for a period of approximately three years. This is a time of continued discernment on the part of the community of the capacity of the newly professed sister to fulfill the obligations of the cloistered contemplative for the whole time of her life.
“Receive me, O Lord!” sings the young Poor Clare about to make her solemn vows. A garlanded candle stands as the symbol of her joyous giving. She becomes irrevocably Christ’s. She will have a wedding ring on her finger because she is God’s bride, an intense expression of the Church’s brideship. She will have a crown of thorns on her head because hers is a crucified Lover.
Solemn profession ushers the sister into a life of profound union with God. Formation, in a very real sense, never ends.