This data was last updated on 13 August 2018.
Address: 75 Thornton Street, Revere, MA 02151
History: Wat Ratanarangsi, or Revere Buddhist Community Incorporated, was founded in 1995 by a community of Cambodians in Revere. The temple was temporarily located in a house on Highland Street in Revere from 1995 to 1996. The temple moved to its current location on Thorton Street in 1996 where it serves the tens of thousands of Cambodians in the area.
Description: Wat Ratanarangsi is located on Thorton Street, a quiet residential street in Revere. Formerly a private residence, the large beige house has undergone little structural modification since the temple's relocation. A large yellow awning, sign, and flags--both the Cambodian national flag and the Cambodian Buddhist flag--decorate the outside of the building. Upon ascending the main stairs, visitors find themselves in a small room for shoes, its walls covered with photos and advertisements for local Cambodian events and businesses. Through the front door lies a large carpeted room used as the temple's main hall for prayer, meditation and other religious ceremonies. An ornate multi-tiered altar lined with dozens of different style Buddhas sits in the front corner of the room. Atop the altar sits the main Buddha statue, a large golden colored statue from Thailand. Also on the first floor is a small kitchen regularly used by lay members to prepare meals for the monks. The upstairs is reserved for the monks' private quarters.
Activities and Schedule: Wat Ratanarangsi is open daily, with regular members from the area arriving each morning to prepare food for the monks, who are supported by the laity. Weekend services include chanting, prayer, and offerings of food to the monks. The temple holds regular celebrations at its facilities. Some larger celebrations include Visakha Bochea (the day of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and attainment of Nirvana), Meakha Bochea, Chol Vassa (rainy season retreat), Bun Phcum Bend (memorial day), Chenh Vassa (end of the rainy season retreat), Bun Kathinatean (robes offering to the monks), the Cambodian New Year, and the Day of the Dead. Smaller religious ceremonies include 100 day funeral memorials, birthdays, house blessings, and long-life ceremonies. The temple also offers summer Khmer language classes for children.
Leadership: Wat Ratanarangsi is home to eight resident monks, seven from Cambodia and one from Sri Lanka. Many of the resident monks are studying English at local community colleges. The temple's current abbot is the Venerable Sophal Pat. Sponsored by Venerable Sao Khon Dhamathero of the Triratanaram Temple in North Chelmsford, Venerable Pat first came to the United States in 1997. He served as a religious worker at the Triratanaram Temple until 2000. In 2000 he returned to Cambodia for a year before returning to the United States in 2001 to become the resident abbot of Wat Ratanarangsi.
Demographics: Wat Ratanarangsi draws its members from the large Cambodian-American communities of Revere, Lowell, and Lynn. Services are held in Khmer with some Pali prayers.