Its beginning to look like Advent
Ahhh...Advent in a monastery...with its spirit of recollection, vigilance in prayer, quiet anticipation and Lectio Divina...it is an awesome liturgical season to experience within the cloister.
Earlier this year a relative of one of the Sisters gave us 7 small statues of the various prophets of the Old Testament. These were brought from Brazil. Sr. Mary Veronica and Sr. Rose Marie had a great idea of using them during the Advent Season as we delve into the prophetical books during the Advent liturgy and their prophecies concerning the future Messiah. And it makes for a wonderful Advent meditation as Sr. Rose Marie adds a new flame-quote daily until Christmas.
Our sanctuary this Advent
Sr. Mary Therese made some lovely and inspiring panels for our altar for use during the Advent Season. They do add to the expectant joy of the coming of our Messiah!
In keeping with the Ceremonial of Bishops we have moderate decorations in Chapel during this liturgical season.
...the decorating of the altar with flowers should be done in a moderate manner, as is consonant with the character of the season, without anticipating the full joy of Christmas.
-Ceremonial of Bishops, #236
Each evening at the end of Night Prayer we chant the Alma Redemptoris Mater before this Advent icon of "The Virgin of the Sign".
Speaking of our Lady - may you have a most grace-filled Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary! For us it is a Holy Day of Obligation and therefore we are free from unnecessary work duties (necessary ones being cooking, dishes, etc.) for extra prayer in the morning - we will have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 10:30 a.m. beginning our midmorning prayer (the Divine Office) followed by a special Prayer of Consecration of our Nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then time for private prayer before Angelus and midday prayer at 12 noon. Then we will have a longer time in the afternoon for recreation and free time. Probably try to write some Christmas cards and some Sisters may visit our Sr. who is still in the hospital. Please keep her in your prayers!