In the spring of 2020, during the frustrating days of the COVID-19 church closings, Our Lord let us experience the first-fruits of our journey into traditional liturgy: a Clothing Day! We were delighted to restore elements from our older ceremonial which had not been used in perhaps 50 years, including a wedding gown, a custom which has been associated with monastic investiture since the 9th Century.
After a year of experiencing life in the monastery, a postulant enters the novitiate—a two-year period of spiritual training and preparation to take vows—with the reception of the holy habit and the bestowal of her new religious name. Please pray with us that many more Clothing Days will bring us joy in the near future!
During Holy Week 2019 we restored the practice of Tenebrae, the solemn Matins and Lauds of the Sacred Triduum, with the plaintive chanting of Jeremiah’s Lamentations and the extinguishing of candles after each psalm, representing the abandonment of Our Lord by His apostles.
It was hauntingly beautiful!
As we transitioned to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, our days were filled with “firsts.” Here are photos from our first Solemn High Mass on the feast of the Infant Jesus of Prague, January 3rd, 2018.
Below, our first Requiem Mass celebrated in the monastery crypt on November 2nd, 2017.
In October 2016 a Carmelite Hermit celebrated Mass according to the ancient Carmelite Rite for the first time.
The experience was, in a word, heavenly!
In the summer of 2016 we completed a huge project that transformed the heart of our monastery: the central courtyard. One of the landmarks was the day our new marble and granite crucifix was installed.
Historically, the cloister-garth is second in importance after the monastic church in contemplative life. The monks and nuns not only prayed but often worked in the sheltered open cloisters on the four sides of the inner garden. Consistent with this tradition, our foundress Mother Teresa Margaret had planned that the adjacent windows on the main floor would be arched, but when we built our 1960 utilitarian-style monastery the funds did not allow this. Thanks to one generous family, and with the help of the golf outing funds and a few other persons, our monastery now looks like… a real monastery!
To all who helped us, we send a grateful message: As you go about your business endeavors and provide for your family, may it comfort you to know that behind Carmel’s walls the nuns are offering up a part of their daily sacrifices for you and those you love, with hearts full of gratitude for the timeless beauty now in the heart of our home, enhancing the monastic atmosphere of peace and prayer. May God reward you!