MONKS AT PLUSCARDEN are preparing for one of the most significant events in the long and rich history of their Abbey next month.
Members of the public are being invited to witness a re-dedication mass for the Abbey Church, to be conducted by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, who is the former Abbot of Pluscarden.
Founded in 1230, the Abbey is thought to have been dedicated within a few years – the original dedication crosses can still be seen on the walls and Transepts of the Abbey. There was, however, considerable destruction around 1390 at the hands of the Wolf of Badenoch.
In the mid to late 15th century there was extensive rebuilding and repair which it is thought would have been followed by a second dedication – evidenced by the presence of four dedication crosses in the Chancel in areas of later stone repair.
Monastic life at Pluscarden ended after the reformation in 1560 – and it was not until 1948 when a band of monks from Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire moved north to Pluscarden and began the slow process of restoring the buildings – work that is still not complete and no re-dedication of the church, after its centuries of ruin, has taken place.
The re-dedication mass will, therefore, be an event of significant importance. Rich in symbolism and ritual, the liturgy will be with the placing of the Blessed Sacrament in the new Tabernacle which will be situated for the first time in the centre of the sanctuary where it can be seen clearly from all points in the church.
The Mass is expected to last around three hours and takes place at 11am on Thursday, November 5. It will be followed by lunch at around 2pm.
Anything wishing to remain for lunch is welcome but is asked to indicate their intentions by email to Pluscarden.email@example.com or by post to Pluscarden Abbey, Elgin, IV30 8UA or by telephone to 01343 890257.