Epiphany Blessing of the Monastery

Epiphany Blessing of the Monastery

With the monastery still under quarantine and sisters with COVID, the 2021 celebration of Epiphany, including the monastery blessing, relied in part on memory and desire.

Since the quarantine began on December 24, sisters have remained in their rooms. Morning, midday and evening prayer are broadcast over the PA system so we can pray separately but still as one.

On the Feast of the Epiphany, our tradition is to process through the monastery recalling the journey of the three Magi to find the Christ child. We stop in all our common spaces to pray a blessing. Because of the quarantine, at the conclusion of Morning Praise on today's celebration of Epiphany, prioress Sister Stephanie Schmidt invited everyone to remember past processions of sisters and guests blessing the different spaces in the monastery: "I invite you to imagine such a procession as we bless our home and pray for the time when it will be fully open once again to each of us and to all our guests."

She proceeded to remind the sisters that blessings are a regular part of monastic life because they "bring a sense of the sacred and remind us that everything is a channel of holiness for us. They give us a sense of the eternal freshness of life. They give us hope that anything can become new again."

The blessings of the front foyer, Sunset Room (the gathering space in the health care wing), community and dining rooms and chapel came through the PA interspersed with a recorded verse of the song "Shepherds and Kings," which recalls the journeys of the first visitors to the stable where Jesus was born.

In honor of the three Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, wise ones from the East, we mark the entryway of each of our common rooms with their initials and the year: 20 C+B+M 21. The marking remains throughout the year and serves as a reminder that this monastery is a blessed space and that its residents ask God's blessing on all who share it with us.