- Date of publication 06-28-2010 Since last June, the two communities: Saint Joseph’s and the Residence Perrine Thulard, have tried to improve little by little the suggestions made to the sisters for growing spiritually through the liturgy.
The Offices are relayed both visually and by ear from St Joseph's to the Residence and this is already much appreciated by the older sisters who can be more closely united with the Eucharist, Vespers, the funeral celebrations, the prayer-contemplation periods during Lent and at other times.
The teams in charge in the two communities reflect together and with Father Esnault, to ensure that the sisters have the possibility of being closely involved in the liturgy. On the days when we do not have the Eucharist, prayer times are organised by volunteers.
The important liturgical periods are prepared by sisters from each community, as are the great feast days. In this way the sisters in the Residence are associated with the same preparation and use of symbols as those in St Joseph's.
What will we do to celebrate together this Holy Week? In order that the older sisters be more closely associated with the celebration of Palm Sunday the ceremony began in the Sacré Coeur. After the blessing of palms we set off like the crowds in Jerusalem and slowly went up the steps leading to St Joseph's Chapel acclaiming the Lord:
Hosanna Hosanna, to You, Lord God, our hymns of love.
Hosanna Hosanna, to You, Lord God, our hymns of joy!
The ceremony continued to be relayed and the sisters in the Residence were happy to be able to see and hear, particularly the Passion, read by several people.
And Holy Thursday?
To ensure a greater participation of all the sisters we decided that the celebration of the Last Supper would take place in the multi-purpose room in the Residence. This time the sisters from St Joseph's went over there.
Everyone gave a helping hand to prepare the celebration, decorate the room and bring over the material.
We were grouped around a large table beautifully decorated where a magnificent poster of the Washing of the Feet welcomed us. At Father Esnault's suggestion a text by Maurice Zundel was read after the Gospel, interspersed with the refrain "Ubi Caritas et amor, Deus ibi est". It was a very moving moment.
The sisters from the two communities helped with the readings, the offertory procession with flowers, lights and the offerings, and the distribution of Communion.
Joy could be read on all the faces and the sisters said that the celebration had touched them more than in previous years!
The celebration of the Passion, simple and sober, took place in the Sacré Coeur where the sisters from the Residence could follow.
This room gave us the space we needed to put the Cross in a place of honour, for the prostration of the celebrant, for proclaiming the Passion, for the two beautiful processions - the adoration of the Cross and the Communion.
This very moving celebration took place peacefully, in an atmosphere of profound recollection.
We had the opportunity of inaugurating the new chairs that had arrived the previous evening...
Only a few sisters were able to take part in the Easter Vigil in the Basilica, but we came together for a festive Mass in St Joseph's Chapel, decorated simply but with taste.
Our joy burst forth as we celebrated Christ's Resurrection in union with the whole Church.
Sister Geneviève Marie
© Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Evron
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