Three Eucharistic liturgies in the last four days and each one outshone the other. Thursday we honored the life of our Sister Benedict Irish, 98. Her family was so moved by the ceremony and appreciative of our rituals, it was quite touching. On the cold but sunny early morning Friday we gathered at Trinity Cemetery for the burial. Another moving and special ritual.
Saturday morning we hosted the Mass of Christian Burial for one of our very involved oblates. Her family estimated a crowd of 25-30 outside of themselves. Our chapel holds about 200, so when we had to put up an extra 20-25 chairs ten minutes before the liturgy started, we knew we were more in the neighborhood of 125-150 besides ourselves! Many were not Catholic, so that always puts a special twist on the experience, both for them and for us. The priest-celebrant was excellent and the music, liturgy and eulogies captured this lovely woman to a tee. A luncheon for all continued the memory sharing and, hopefully, left many of these first-time visitors to our monastery, with unique memories of a special celebration of their friend's life and death.
Passion /Palm Sunday begins Holy Week for 2012. Blessed with creative planners and musicians, our Eucharistic liturgy was wonderful. Sister Dianne took the part of Jesus in the Passion as readers carried her through the story. She sang the significant parts and interacted with a mime, who reacted perfectly throughout.
So many community members were able to participate in these four days it felt like a community extended weekend! All were greatly moved by the specialness of these events and again and again expressed gratitude to all participants, planners and the community in general.
It is always such a pleasure to share our gifts of liturgy and hospitality.
Scenes from our Passion Sunday celebration, including Sister Cindy Hoover who mimed the major characters of the story as they interacted with the Jesus figure.