Today we celebrate Christ our Dawn, but today was also the day I forgot to set my morning alarm clock and missing Lauds. I didn't awake with the dawn at all; however, there was much to do once I found my morning cup of coffee. I had been asked to set up the Christmas tree in our care center in the Monastery. Sr. Barbara helped fluff and arrange all the branches and set the lights (all three strands) on the tree. Then our lights went dead...and she had to get to her next assignment. Luckily, Sr. Virginia found an extra set and one of our care center staff helped me relight the tree! I encouraged our elderly sisters to help choose which decorations to add to the tree to set some on the branches, it was a good morning. The afternoon was supposed to be spent pinning satin balls to the ceiling but it was post-poned until tomorrow.
O Rising Sun, the splendor of eternal light
and brilliant sun of justice,
come and with your holy light,
shine on us who sit in darkness and in death's shadow!
Sunday, Fr. Benedictine (yeah home from Jesuit land!) had a wonderful homily about Mary and Elizabeth. They supported and nurtured the Divine in each other, and we are called to bring Christ to the world and nurture the Christ in each other as well. It was a quiet day in the Monastery. Just nice to be home...evening prayer begins with the chapel silent and in the dark except for the lights on the Crucifix. Then one sister carries in a lit taper to light our Advent wreath. As she steps down from the wreath, the lights come up and we begin our Vespers. I've missed these quiet endings to the day.
O Key of David, and scepter of the House of Israel,
who open the door and no one closes,
who close the door and no one opens,
O come, rescue us from our dark prison, where we sit in death's shadow!
Saturday, I putzed about the house after cleaning the chapel entrance. Somehow, I was tapped to do a bit of dusting, vacuuming, and mopping after being home 24 hours. Then, I wrapped a few Christmas gifts for the nieces and nephews, and their moms, and spent time just visiting with sisters as they trickled home for Christmas.
O Root of Jesse, who stand as a sign of the people,
before whom kings shall be silent,
to whom all nations shall pray,
O come, come Lord to free us, and delay no longer!