Tag Archive | the Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel

The Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel–THE END!

“So now that you have your Gift, it is time to talk about the Blessed Vessel.”

Rose thought that was exactly what they’d been doing. She had her Blessed Vessel in front of her, didn’t she?

With a knowing smile, Princess Lilianna asked, “You didn’t think The Creator’s Gift was the Blessed Vessel, did you?”

Around the room, girls nodded and a few giggled.

“Not to fear. That’s a very common mistake. In fact, I suppose we rather trick you into believing that, just so we can tell you it’s not. The Creator’s Gift is filled with good things the Creator has given you but it is not the Blessed Vessel. And even though your Gift is decorated with those things you love, it is not all that the Gift contains.”

The things they loved? Rose’s gaze drifted back to Bells and her Gift. Did that mean Bells loved nothing but Bells?

“The Gift contains many things you will need on your One True Journey.”

What sort of things?

“Courage. Compassion. To name only two. But other things as well for you to discover along your journey. But as with the paths, you make the choice to use them or not. The Creator’s Gift and your Blessed Vessel are linked together. Use the two together correctly, and they will help you complete your One True Journey to its final destination. Squander them and they will lead to pain and sorrow. And, perhaps, even worse emptiness.”

Oh, she would use them correctly. Rose was sure of that. She didn’t want pain or sorrow or emptiness. She wanted nothing more than to complete her One True Journey to become a Princess.

Even if she didn’t understand how—quite yet.

“When you treat the Blessed Vessel with the respect it is due and use the Creator’s Gifts, you will discover the path for your One True Journey that will lead to the destination we all should strive for.”

“But be careful. It is so easy to squander your Blessed Vessel. Many will want to help you to do just that. Once squandered it is so very hard to stay on the path of you One True Journey. But once again I must remind you the Creator can repair the damage if you allow it to be so. Never forget that.”

“Your Blessed Vessel is yours and yours alone. But once you find your own true love, you may share it with him. But take heed. True love is not easy nor quick as many would have you believe. So take care of where you allow your feet to fall. Not just tonight but in all the days and nights that will follow.”

Princess Lilianna looked over at Princess Michella. “And now a word of warning about those pesky Knights-in-Training that you shall meet tonight at the Ball. Even though you have known many of them all your life, it will not be the same after this Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel. Do not allow them to lure you from your One True Journey with their pretty words or their empty promises.”

Still confused, Rose looked over at Veronique who was looking at her. She shrugged. Rose had no idea what the Blessed Vessel was. Apparently what she held in her hand was the Creator’s Gift, not the Blessed Vessel. Both were meant to help her complete her One True Journey, but she wasn’t quite sure how.

“But this is the Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel. My dear children, each of you are so very special to the Creator. He has created the One True Journey for each of you that will lead to a special happiness that can only be found by completing it.” She paused. Her beauty shone through. Why had Rose ever thought her ugly? Again, it seemed as if her gaze met every girl in the room.

Then another beautiful smile as she said, “And if you haven’t figured it out quite yet, let me be the first to tell you that you are the Blessed Vessel.”

THE END!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

The Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel–Part VII

With shaking hands, Rose picked up her gift—her Blessed Vessel.

Never had she seen anything more beautiful. And it belonged to her and only to her. The wooden chest was carved with such intricacy and care, it brought tears to her eyes.

It was divided into three sections.

The first section showed a herd of horses. Oh, how she loved horses!

Of course everyone loved to ride horses, but her love went far beyond that. She loved to take care of them, keep them safe and comfortable. One day she would love to have a haven for horses that were no longer wanted because they weren’t perfect anymore.

The more Rose gazed at the horses, they seemed to actually be moving. One horse was in the midst of galloping. Another reared back, fierce and proud. A colt leaned against its mother for comfort.

So beautiful!

On the other end of the chest was a garden of roses, pink, red, and yellow with green leaves surrounding them, no doubt to symbolize her love for growing living things. Her mother often teased her that it must have been why she’d named her Rose, so deep was her love for growing things.

She’d even given Rose a small section in her own garden this year.

In the center of each rose was a tiny but perfect gem that matched the colors of the petal. But the most beautiful were just like the dress she wore—no color and all colors. They shimmered as if the sunlight fell upon them.

The Creator did know her. Her Blessed Vessel showed the things she loved the most in this world.

Between the herd of horses and the rose garden was a smooth section of wood, beautiful but empty. Why had the carver put nothing in the center? Not that it was unpleasant but it gave a feeling of not quite being finished.

Rose ran a finger across the empty space. A tingle of excitement coursed through her.

Veronique whispered in her ear, “Oh, my gift is so beautiful. Look, I have books of every sort.”

And indeed she did. Both sides of Veronique’s vessel was filled with books with only a small space between the books, much smaller than Rose’s empty space. Books and nothing more.

How fitting.

Veronique loved books more than anyone Rose had ever known.

“What do you suppose it might mean?” Veronique looked anxious. “Why do I only have books and nothing else?”

“I suppose it might mean that you might become a Scholar of some sort.”

“I would love that.” As Veronique spoke, she ran her fingers lovingly on the books carved into her gift. “Think about it. Spending all day reading and learning all sorts of interesting things. How wonderful would that be?”

“Perhaps, you might become a Scribe.”

Veronique’s eyes widened. “A Scribe? That would be more than I could ever hope or dream for. What does your gift show?”

“Horses and flowers.”

Veronique laughed. “Oh, the Creator seems to know each of us very well.”

“It seems to be so.”

They both turned to Bells. “Show us what you have.”

Bells pouted. “Nothing nearly as useful as your books, Veronique. Nor as beautiful as your horses and garden, Rose.” She held it out for the others to see.

“Very curious, indeed.” Rose finally said.

Bells’ box consisted mostly of the blank space in the middle. On each side was a narrow section filled with bells. All sorts of bells—big ones; little ones; pretty ones; and some no so pretty.

Veronique looked up from the box, concern filled her eyes. “Most unusual. But still very pretty. Mine only has one thing as well. Books.”

“But you love books. I don’t like bells. Unless you’re talking about me, of course. Then I like them.” Bells shook her head, her blonde curls went every which way. “It doesn’t matter. I can’t wait until we get to the Ball tonight. That’s where the real fun will begin.”

After a few more moments, Princess Lilianna spoke again. “The Creator’s Gifts are things of beauty, no?”

Why did she keep calling it the Creator’s Gift instead of the Blessed Vessel? Wasn’t this supposed to be the Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel?

“Is there anyone here who thinks they may have received the wrong Gift? It has been known to happen from time to time.”

Rose looked at Bells. Would she say something? Bells looked at her and shook her head with a smile. Apparently not. Each girl looked down the row they sat in to see if someone had received the wrong Blessed Vessel.

No one came forward.

“Wonderful then.” Her gaze swept around the room. “As you may have noticed each of your Gifts has a space where nothing can be seen as of yet. The empty space waits for the paths you will choose as you take your One True Journey.”

Rose stared down, now understanding. Excitement flowed through her. Her One True Journey awaited her. She could create in the empty space whatever she wanted.

A glance at Veronique’s gift made her understand even more. The tiny empty space must signify that Veronique would have a much shorter journey to her final destination than Rose.

As Rose gazed upon Bells’, she wondered what all that empty space could mean. A sense of foreboding passed over her for her friend.

“So now that you have your Gift, it is time to talk about the Blessed Vessel.”

Rose thought that was exactly what they’d been doing. She had her Blessed Vessel in front of her, didn’t she?

With a knowing smile, Princess Lilianna asked, “You didn’t think The Creator’s Gift was the Blessed Vessel, did you?”

 

One more to go….would love to hear any comments so far! Thanks for sticking with me and the story.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

THE CEREMONY OF THE BLESSED VESSEL–Part V

PART V

Princess Lilianna was talking about destination again. What destination? Whatever could that mean?

“And if you are especially blessed, along the way you will find your one true love to share the rest of the journey with you.”

That definitely didn’t sound like the destination was about finding her one true love. Rose was more confused than ever. If finding her one true love wasn’t the point of her One True Journey, then what was?

“No matter whether you are the King’s own daughter or the daughter of a poor farmer, each of you must take your own Journey. Your feet must trod the path. No one else can take your journey for you. And let me assure you, there will be many surprises along the way, some pleasant and some not.”

“There will be many paths to choose from as you take your journey. So many that at times you might become confused, afraid to take the next step. But worry not, my sweet children. Unlike a maze, there are many paths that will lead you to your final destination. And, in fact, some of you will believe you’ve completed your One True Journey only to discover there is still more to come.”

At your young age you may feel the need to rush through the journey, but I tell you, rush not. Enjoy each path and where it leads. Enjoy what you have while you have it and then when the next phase of your Journey continues, enjoy that as well.”

Rose had no idea what any of this meant. And she really didn’t care. What she wanted was to learn how she could become a Princess. That’s all she cared about—becoming a Princess. Not about paths and journeys and destinations. She just wanted to know what she needed to do to become a Princess. That’s the only thing she cared about.

“The time has come to talk about the Blessed Vessel.”

Finally!

“Your Blessed Vessel is needed to complete your One True Journey. Take care not to let the Blessed Vessel be damaged or broken.”

Damaged? Broken? Rose shuddered at the thought. That didn’t sound good at all. Girls around the room leaned forward, eager to hear more.

“Sadly…” Princess Lilianna said nothing for a few moments. “Sadly, a few Blessed Vessels will become damaged. Not to worry, this does not have to affect your One True Journey. Only your steps can take off your path, lead you astray. Therefore take care of where you allow your feet to fall.”

“But should your Blessed Vessel become damaged, the Creator has the power to repair it. Never forget that.”

That was good to know—even if Rose didn’t exactly understand what it meant.

“As you soon will discover, there are many paths to choose on you One True Journey. Each of you come before me this day as a Princess-in Training.”

Finally! The good part.

“There is no one path that leads to becoming a Princess.”

No one path? That couldn’t be true, could it? There had to be one path. That was the path Rose would take but she had to know how to get there.

“There is not one path because all paths lead there. A Princess is not what you do, but who you are. And our choices make us who we are. That is why you must take care where you let your feet fall.”

Rose knew those words must be very important, but not sure why. Maybe Veronique or Bells would be able to explain it to her later. Or maybe her mother could.

“For now, instead of focusing on becoming a Princess, you must pick the path and begin your One True Journey. Perhaps the path of a Teacher or a Healer. The choices are limitless. That choice is yours to make. Remember one path is not better than another, only different.”

The little old lady smiled her sweet but enigmatic smile. “But no matter how many times I say that at the Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel, no one quite believes me. So I will tell you this about the Princess Path.”

Getting close to the end! Just a few more episodes.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

The Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel-Part IV

One knight stepped forward. “It is my pleasure to announce Princess Lilianna. The Princess-Of-All-Princesses. The most beautiful Princess in all the Kingdom. The most wise Princess in all the Kingdom. And above all, the kindest in all the Kingdom.”

How could kindness be more important than beauty? What a silly thing to say. Rose leaned forward in anticipation of her first glimpse.

The curtain separated and out stepped….there must be a mistake.

This simply could not be!

Rose stared, not believing her eyes. Instead of the beautiful princess she’d expected out stepped a wrinkled and bent-over old lady. She reminded Rose of a gnarled old tree that no longer bore fruit or even leaves.

This had to be a joke.

Everyone knew the Princess-of-all-Princesses was the most beautiful in all the kingdom. This was not beauty. In fact, it was quite the opposite—almost repulsive.

The knights each took an arm and helped the old woman to the stage and then gently lifted her onto the throne as if she was the most precious of cargo.

Rose heard the whispers around her. No doubt asking exactly what was wondering herself. Once the ugly old lady was seated on the throne, Princess Michella motioned for them to sit.

Rose looked around, still waiting for something miraculous to happen.

But it didn’t.

Instead the musicians lead the procession out of the Great Hall.

Princess Lilianna, if it indeed was her, looked around the room. Her gaze met Rose’s for just a moment before it moved on to the next girl and the next and the next.

Finally, the old lady giggled then looked at them. “I have a feeling I’m not exactly what you expected. All your life you’ve been told I’m the most beautiful in all the kingdom. And yet this is what you see.”

She touched her shoulders. “And perhaps I was at one time. I will let others be the judge of that. But physical beauty is fleeting. Much better is the beauty that comes from our Creator which each of us have within us. And much like a rose, we must nurture it if it is to flourish.”

The little old lady clasped her hands to her heart, her eyes moved heavenward. As did Rose’s. It was the custom to look heavenward when speaking of or to the Creator.

“Oh Good and Holy Creator, you have outdone yourself with this group. So beautiful. Help these dear children to continue to grow in beauty. Real beauty. The beauty that comes only from you. The Kingdom, myself included, is so grateful for this so very special group of Princesses-In-Training. Thank you and may you guide my words today as you guide their feet as they begin their One True Journey. ”

Each word warmed Rose’s heart and filled her with such a feeling of love and acceptance. Never had she felt so special.

When Rose looked back. The old lady was still there, but no longer repulsive in the least. In fact, Rose could see the beauty that all in the Kingdom spoke of. The wonder of the Creator shone from her in every way. The kindness in her eyes shared the love of the Creator with each that met her gaze.

Surely, Princess Lilianna was the most beautiful in all the Kingdom.

“Ah—my favorite day of the year. The Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel. As you know, each year all the thirteen-year-old maidens in the Kingdom gather for this very special day. It is the day you begin your One True Journey. And a very special journey it will be.”

Special indeed. Rose’s journey would end when she found her one true love and became his Princess.

“In a moment each of you shall receive a gift from the Creator.”

Rose tingled with excitement. Finally. Her own Blessed Vessel.

Princess Michella chimed in. “Just as all the Knights-In-Training are receiving theirs as well. Of course, their Gift from the Creator is much different than yours, and surely not as beautiful.” She clapped her hands. “Then tonight will be the Ball. Oh, so much fun. A night you will never forget.”

Princess Lilianna smiled with indulgence.

Princess Michella looked horrified. “Oh, please forgive me.”

“Nothing to forgive, my child. Enthusiasm is a good thing.”

“Still it’s a time for listening, not speaking. Well, speaking for you, not for me.” Princess Michella shook her head as if confused. “Please continue.”

“First we must talk about your One True Journey. From the moment we are born each of us begin our journey but now it’s time to begin your One True Journey. Some of you already know your path or at least believe you know the path of your One True Journey. Others do not.”

There could only be one path for Rose. To become a Princess.

“Each path is different but the destination is the same. And remember, no matter the path, each is noble. However what is not noble is a journey with no destination.”

Destination? This was the first Rose had heard of this. What could it mean? She’d always thought her One True Journey was about finding her one true love. But now she wasn’t so sure.

“Sadly, some will ignore their One True Journey the Creator has planned for you. Instead they will choose to take a journey with no destination. It may seem easier at times, but it is not noble. It will not bring you happiness nor will it strengthen the Kingdom. And make no mistake, each of us was born to strengthen the Kingdom. The Kingdom needs each of us to complete our One True Journey if it is to remain strong.”

The One True Journey was about making the Kingdom strong? Rose hadn’t known that. She’d always thought it was about finding happiness—and that meant finding her one true love.

But Princess Lilianna’s words seemed to be saying something different than Rose had ever thought.

“Every young woman in the kingdom receives a Creator’s Gift in her thirteenth year and so shall each of you. Each gift is different than any that have come before or will come after. How that can be? No one knows except for The Creator himself, of course. As you will soon see, the Creator knows much about you.”

Impossible. Surely, the Creator didn’t know Rose. She shuddered at the thought. It was terrifying to think about, actually. It was only yesterday that she’d hit her little brother in a fit of anger. A very wrong thing to do.

Surely, she hadn’t pleased the Creator. Maybe she wouldn’t get a gift or it wouldn’t be as nice as everybody else’s. She promised she would do better next time. Be kinder to everyone, especially her baby brother.

“Today each of you begin your One True Journey. Just as the Creator’s Gift is the same and yet different, so will your One True Journey be. Each journey is different but the destination is the same.”

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

The Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel–Part III

“Before Princess Lilianna comes to share her wisdom, I’m here to take care of the more mundane details for this very special day as well as to explain a bit more about what it means to be a Princess-In-Training.” She grinned. “Or as we like to call you, a PIT.”

A few quiet giggles around the room could be heard.

“And in fact, your training could be compared to a pit, if you will. There will be many times when you find yourself in a pit, a problem, or a situation. Call it what you will, but how you choose to get out of that pit will determine if you move forward as a Princess-In-Training or if you fall from the path.”

Fall from the path? Was that possible? Rose grimaced. She didn’t like the sound of that.

“This is the informal part of the day so please feel free to ask questions of me. When Princess Lilianna comes out, that will be a time only for listening, not speaking. Unless, of course, she asks for a response. Then it would just be rude not to answer her.”

A hand near the front went up. Princess Michella motioned for her to stand which she did. “What does that mean? Fall from the path. How does that happen?”

“It can happen in so very many ways, but Princess Lilianna will speak more of it. Now, let me explain how today works. We are here at the Ceremony of the Blessed Vessel, then later we shall watch the Games where all the Knights-in-Training get to show off for you. Then tonight will be the Ball.”

“What happens at the Ball?” A girl shouted out.

Princess Michella clapped her hands with glee. “Oh, the Ball is so much fun. But a word of warning, do not let those pesky Knights-in-Training lure you from your One True Journey.”

What did that mean? Rose thought the One True Journey was about finding her one true love. If that was the case, then how could finding your one true love at the Ball lure you from your One True Journey?

Princess Michella looked around with a smile. When she smiled it was as if the sun was in the room with them. “Princess Lilianna has a few things to share about those Knights-In-Training a little later. Are there any more questions?”

Someone in the group called out, “How will know if we’re still on the right path or have fallen from it?”

“A perfectly good question. I cannot say how exactly since each of you will each have your own journey to complete, but I can say that you will know the truth of your path each step of the way. Do not worry yourself with this. Instead take care of where you allow your feet to fall.”

The truth of your path? Where you allow your feet to fall? Rose wanted to poke Veronique in the ribs to ask her what these things meant, but she didn’t dare speak out. She thought the day was about getting more information on how to become a Princess.

Instead, she only had more questions!

“Good. Good. Good. If there are no more questions, it’s time for Princess Lilianna. Now remember, this is a time for listening and be sure to listen most carefully. Her words are filled with much wisdom. The wisdom you will need to complete your One True Journey.”

Complete her journey and become a Princess. That was exactly what Rose wanted to do. And that is what she meant to do.

“After your visit with the Princess-Of-All-Princesses, I will stay behind to answer all of your questions, and then each of you will be assigned your very own Princess Advisor.”

Finally she would get to see the Princess-Of-All-Princesses, the most beautiful of all in the Kingdom. With such beauty, she must have danced all night long at her first Ball, and probably every one after that.

Would anyone even ask Rose to dance? If not, she would simply die from shame. What a disaster that would be.

From the back of the Great Hall a group of musicians stepped in. Their music was festive and yet solemn. The flute players came first, then the drummers. After them were the players of the lute and then more drummers.

The group moved as one. As they played their feet danced along the way. Tension filled the room as a procession made its way from the back of the Great Hall.

After the musicians came two white steeds with a knight in full armor seated on each. The two horses pulled behind them an ornate but tiny carriage. Then came two more knights walking, each holding a javelin at attention as if perhaps one of them would want to harm Princess Lilianna.

Silky white curtains on the carriage windows blocked the view of the girls as all craned their necks to get a better look. The procession stopped in front of the throne that now waited for the Princess-of-all-Princesses.

A gong sounded once again. Princess Michella motioned for all to stand. The group stood as if one entity and then waited. It seemed as if every girl in the room was holding her breath.

One knight stepped forward. “It is my pleasure to announce Princess Lilianna. The Princess-Of-All-Princesses. The most beautiful Princess in all the Kingdom. The most wise Princess in all the Kingdom. And above all, the kindest in all the Kingdom.”

How could kindness be more important than beauty? What a silly thing to say. Rose leaned forward in anticipation of her first glimpse.

The curtain separated and out stepped….there must be a mistake.

So, the story continues…hope you’re enjoying it!

UNTIL NEXT TIME..GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!