Easter approaches! It’s Holy Week! Our Crucifix and statues are covered in Chapel. We are unpacking and digging out processional crosses, candles and bells, dusting, scrubbing, and polishing. We are preparing and printing out booklets with hymns, music, and prayers for each wonderful event that marks Holy Week and the Triduum. Choir practices are brushing up on Passion and Paschaltide hymns. The Refectory and Chapter room will be getting a good cleaning as we prepare and assemble the materials and special menu for the solemn Agape meal on Holy Thursday.
Why all the fuss? For the first time since our move east in 2013, we will enjoy the luxury of Holy Week and Easter at “home” in the monastery thanks to the generosity of our Chaplains. It’s actually even a bigger event than that. For the first year since 1950, when the local ordinary asked the original Handmaids to enter active apostolates throughout his diocese, all the Handmaids of the Precious Blood will be in one location for the Easter celebrations.
We have been blessed to experience at the parish level Triduum and Paschaltide these last four years even though it meant foregoing some of our usual monastic customs. Now, as we ‘resurrect’ these practices in the cloister, know that we treasure the memories of the parish Holy Week celebrations and keep everyone we shared those worship experiences with deep in our prayers of gratitude. God bless you!