April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday. The day starts off with Vigils at 3:45 as usual. Lauds is a little later, after Lenten reading. We have a communal reconciliation service with the sacrament for each of us during it. Three of the monk/priests come for it. The morning is busy with preparations for the afternoon. We have Midday prayer, followed by a light lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free for prayer. At 3:45 we gather for a special celebratory dinner with music and special bread, that we share and special foods. When the meal is over the abbess reads the account of the last supper and foot washing and then we have the washing of the feet. It is all very beautiful and meaningful. The Holy Thursday liturgy follows at 5:15. During the Gloria the bells are rung and then remain silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil. Clappers are used until then to call us to office and prayer. After Communion the Farewell discourse is read and then the Blessed Sacrament is brought by procession to the altar of repose in the Chapter Room. We are free to stay for adoration until Compline and then return to pray until 8:30 PM. The house is completely silent and we watch and wait.

Sister Maggie