During this time of confinement, without any visitors at Mass and no guests in our Retreat House, we continue to work in our bakery. We are currently making our one-pound fruitcakes, filling these pans with our gourmet mixture of fruit and nuts.
They come out of the oven . . .
. . . are placed on a table to cool and . . .
. . . glazed and, later after they are cool . . .
. . . injected with peach brandy.
They will be wrapped, boxed and cured for several months, ready for the Christmas holidays.
Our Easter Vigil was a lovely celebration with the monastic community. We lit the Easter fire in the center of our cloister garden. From the new fire we lit the Paschal candle and processed into the dark church where we proclaimed three times “Christ our light.”
On this day the tabernacle of our church is empty. At the end of last evening’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper we carried hosts consecrated at Mass to our altar of repose where they will remain until they are distributed for communion later today during the Good Friday liturgy.
Our altar of repose is in our chapter room. We spend time praying here.
We are entering our fourth week of confinement, so our celebration of these liturgies of the Triduum take on a special significance because we are aware that so many Catholics are unable to attend any public gathering at this time. Usually we have a number of guests — especially on Good Friday for the Veneration of the Cross. However, this year we are alone — only the monastic community is here to celebrate. Yet we are aware that our worship reaches out through the whole world. May our hearts join with yours as we pray for health, consolation and the new life of our Risen Lord.
With new monastic candidates on the way to live with us, our abbot and novice master decided to renew the look of our novitiate rooms. We tore out the old multi-colored carpet squares that trapped dust and allergens and laid a laminate vinyl flooring that looks like wood. You can get a sense of what the floor is like — and the work ahead to return furniture to comfortable places.