The act of remembering is important within the monastery. We celebrate the history and ancestors of our community in remembering. Each year during the June Chapter, we remember and celebrate the sisters who died during the year. It is incorporated into our evening prayer of Vespers by lighting a candle in each sister's name, reading a reflection of her life, and showing a few pictures of her life throughout the years. After each sister's reflection we sing the Suscipe, a chant that is sung at our Professions, Jubilees, and Funerals offering our whole life up to God and seeking his faithful support.
After commemorating each sister, we process out to the cemetery following the Prioress and sisters bearing baskets of flower petals. The Prioress closes Vespers in the midst of our cemetery, blessing the graves of our sisters with holy water and leading us in honoring our beloved dead with flower petals. It is a communal time of praying with our sisters who have been with the community since 1880; and also a time for sisters as individuals to go to the graves of dear friends, sisters, and even family members, to shower their grave with petals and offer a few prayers. The silence of this solemn time is often interrupted by whispered stories, a few tears, and laughter too.
|A springtime view of our Monastery Cemetery. The graves in this portion are some |
of the oldest and date back to the late 1890's.
Those closest to the crucifix are our Mothers, superiors of the monastery.