On Saturday, the color of violet spread silently though the monastery as we readied ourselves for the season of Advent. It spread like a hand unfolding into rest.
In the sacristy, I made the usual preparations of exchanging green vestments for violet and readying the lectionaries of the new liturgical year. Sr. Kathleen arranged the Advent wreath and candles in the chapel, and Sr. Priscilla prepared them for the dining room. Sisters Therese and Lynn Marie removed last year’s Missalettes from the pews and replaced them with the new. Sr. Magdalena placed her Advent music and liturgy files at the ready. Sr. Brigid posted the annual reminder about our Advent collection for Catholic Relief Services. Hardly a word was exchanged. Everyone just settled into doing what they knew needed to be done.
Advent is one of my favorite seasons and I think this year it will be particularly so. In the midst of this unusual time of transition for our community, the pensive quiet of this beautiful season will be especially welcome. Familiar hymns, familiar patterns, the familiar turning of the liturgical calendar…I think all will help us settle deeply into this season, these days that unfold like a hand at rest – quiet and still in wordless waiting, yet ready to light the lamp and spread the table as we watch for the coming of the Lord.