Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Events...


The monastery has been bustling with activity during this ONE DAY between the last Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day.  After Lauds, Mass, and breakfast, the preparations for the next day's festivities began.  The sisters divided into groups of merry elves to get all the work done.

Sister Sacristan and Sister Subprioress making final
poinsettia placement decisions while preparing Chapel.
The sisters decorating the Chapel had 'double duty' since the Advent Wreath and purple banners needed to be taken down before the white and gold Christmas banners and poinsettias could bedeck the sanctuary and pillars.  A few sisters artfully arranged a few dozen red and white poinsettias around the base of some simple evergreen trees that flank either side of our high altar while others continued to cart them in from their 'cool' storage.  Sisters with great balance tiptoed on the pews to lift down the purple and hang banners of gold with white.  Sister Sacristan was also quite busy; moving from candle to candle with new pillars and votives, refilling the little oil dedication candles, and positioning highlights of golden material around the Christmas candles.

Sisters home from mission join in the joyful work of
playing 'elf' and preparing the Christmas gifts.
 Another sister collected all the Advent table decorations from the dinning room and carried away its Advent Wreath as well.  In their place, the tables were brightened up with white table cloths, season placemats, and rose bowls filled with mini-bouquets of red and white; a Christmas Nativity scene was also displayed in the center of the dinning room.  The cooks and bakers, gift wrappers and musicians were all bustling about the monastery all morning long.  And two merry little elves carted special gifts from St. Mary Church from a small meeting room to the Chapter room where other elves were lighting the tall Christmas tree.

Bishop Martin Marty Chapel
as Christmas Vespers begins

Tonight, we will share our traditional meal of oyster stew, potato soup, and cherry pie.  Then with the quiet of December winter all around, we sing "Silent Night" with our candles lit as we statio two by two to the front of chapel and then to our pews.  The Chapel stays semi-lit with our candles as the cantor choir sings the Christmas Proclamation! This Christmas Vigil Vespers builds our anticipation the glory of our Christmas celebration tomorrow.
May Christmas Blessings be Yours,

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