A New Year's Day Tradition

Every year on January 1, we gather about 10:30 am to draw our special patrons and intentions for the year. The ceremony begins with a Sister standing in the middle of the gathering and singing an ancient chant for the Nativity of Christ. Then, after everyone sits, the Prioress gives a talk. This year Sister Mary Margaret gave a very meaningful reflection of the meaning of the name, "Emmanuel".


Afterwards, the two "youngest" Sisters distribute special prayer cards made for the occasion. Each Monastery seems to have this tradition, but it is done in slightly different ways. For example, one monastery may have one Patron for the entire community, while here in Lufkin, each Sister has a Patron and intention.


Each Sister receives a special title of Jesus or Mary, plus another saint, such as St. Joseph or a Dominican saint. Then we usually have a beautiful quotation upon which we can mediate throughout the year. Finally, at the bottom of the card is an intention for which each Sister pray during the year. Of course, on the front is always a lovely image and quote. Below you can see a sample of our card for 2020.

 

We then take turns reading our patrons, message and prayer intention.

left to right: Sister Mary Gabriel; Sister Mary Christine; Sister Marie Augustine; Sister Irma Marie sharing their cards 
The ceremony itself concludes with singing Psalm 117: "Praise the Lord, all you nations..." and the Sister who leads the prayers that week says the closing prayer.


The remainder of the time is spent wishing each other a "Happy New Year."

And, may you, our loyal reader, have a
VERY HAPPY NEAR YEAR IN 2020!



Comments

  1. I learned of this tradition from reading the Diary of St. Faustina, her order did this as you had mentioned many religious communities have this tradition.
    Thankfully for us lay people, there is a website that does a random Patron Saint of the Year generator.
    And my Patron Saint of the year is St. Augustine!

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