“This is the day that the Lord has made we will be glad and rejoice in it”
On Easter Monday we gathered at the Abbey for a farewell Mass and meal. We were still very much in an Easter mode of Death giving way to Resurrection and New Life and this was very evident in the celebrations of the day. Our Mass began with the hymn in honour of the Trinity, “Praise to the Father, the source of our life” a fitting reminder of our consecration to the Trinity. Fr Peter spoke of his gratitude for the 77 years of our presence in the Abbey and all that has meant not only to us as Sisters but also to the wider community of parish and Archdiocese.
In combined Bidding Prayers and Offertory Procession, the Bread and Wine were brought to the altar together with a bowl of water, symbol of life and growth. The bidding prayers reflected the many facets of what has been life here at the Abbey. We were reminded of the many Sisters who have been clothed here, made Profession and celebrated Jubilees in this chapel. Many funerals have taken place and we give thanks for those Sisters who have gone before us.
Some Sisters could not be with us but they too were remembered and prayed for. Our sick and elderly Sisters have been cared for so lovingly and devotedly by our caring Staff. In latter years we have also had a wonderful household staff who have looked after our catering needs as well as maintaining the house and grounds.
The many visitors to the Abbey were also prayed for and the needs of the parish and Archdiocese were in our thoughts. As each prayer unfolded a Sister, in turn, carried a golden rose which was placed in the beautiful Easter Garden in front of the Altar. It was a moving way to offer all that has been, to the Lord and to remember it with gratitude.
The final hymn of the Mass was so aptly chosen and seemed to encapsulate the meaning and purpose of our time together,
“Let us build the city of God
May our tears be turned into dancing!
For the Lord, our light and our love
Has turned the night into day!”
the chorus reminding us that the Lord is with us in our dark days but that the light will come in His own time.
After Mass, we gathered in St Joseph’s Parlour for drinks and nibbles
before moving to the refectory for a delicious meal where we had time to chat and reminisce. After the meal, a great deal of laughter and organisation went into gathering for a group photo in front of the Abbey.
Our tears may not be exactly “be turned into dancing” – few of us can dance nowadays! - but there was certainly a light-hearted gratitude for the occasion and the knowledge that “We are daughters of Day” can help us all to build life anew in the new pastures.
“The One who loved us will lighten our way”