The Monastery is a flurry of quiet activity today...no, I'm not home; however, some things stay ever the same. Balanced between Liturgy of the Hours and individual reflection, the sisters are preparing for the Easter Vigil and its celebrations.
The "upper" Chapel needs one last dusting and cleaning before tonight. Banners are hung from the sandstone columns, Easter lilies and baby mums are arranged about the altar, and the Easter candle (designed by Sr. Mary Kay) is checked for a final fit in both the baptismal font and wood-carved stand. The Lenten reminders are removed from all the tables in the refectory, and the tables are prepared (with Sr. Anna's arrangements) for Easter celebration with bright table runners, flowers, and candles. In fact, reminders of Easter glory spring up all over the Monastery as my sisters near the Vigil tonight night.
Why wait? My family and non-Benedictine friends have been asking why we would wait to the last minute to do all this work. The answer is very simple, Benedict asks we live Lent well, to learn from it all we can, and Lent doesn't end until tonight. So, we wait to change our liturgical season until the great celebration nears. Also, I love the preparation...the quiet, reflective arranging of flowers, banners, and candles. Even in our work, we carry the prayerful nature of the day.
Why the reminiscing? Well, I'm not in a situation to help with preparing a celebration while here at school...in fact...I'm reading Theology homework about the history of the papacy and researching a bit for an essay in my education course. So, I thought that taking a moment to remember and reflect on home would be a good way to remember the importance of the day.