Thursday, February 2, 2012

Candlemass at the Monastery

Sister Michaeleen's photo of the blessed
candles after prayer and Mass.

The Monastery celebrates Candlemass on the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus.  Candlemass...Jesus is the light of the world; we carry that light within us and bless the waxy reminders of that light.  This morning the Peace Chapel altar was surrounded by a variety of the candles used during prayer in the Chapel and our living groups.  This simple ceremony is one that I miss while living away from home. 

The Prioress blesses the candles during morning prayer and they remain in the Chapel through evening prayer.  After our Vespers, a sister from each of the living groups carries the blessed candle to the group room to be used in our noon and compline prayers.  It is just one of the many little liturgies that connect us to the greater Church and to each other.  Knowing that even when we pray the shorter hours of noon and night, the blessing of the Prioress and the gathered prayer of the community continue to hold us all together.

The candles themselves are also a connection to the sisters at the Monastery.  While the Chapel candles for Mass are purchased, those used for prayers in the living groups are made by one of our own Sister Artisans.  She creates whole rainbows of candles for the sisters and our gift shop.  She even has some seasonal candles...during the Fall she pours pumpkins, there are Winter snowmen, and pastel Easter eggs.  Her most coveted creations?  The tall pillar candles that are the full rainbow all in one.  Sister Roommate and I are hoping to get one when we go home for Sister Jill's Perpetual Profession in a week, maybe we'll even get a blessing for it too!

Candles from the Chapel and for the living groups all arranged in the Peace Chapel and ready to be blessed and shared. Sister Mary Jo took the picture to share with us.


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