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Advent Traditions

Read about our communal Advent traditions and practices.

We will post these periodically throughout Advent.

Advent Angel


On the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, a little angel magically appears in our chapel. She sits on the far corner windowsill, up high, overlooking our community, watching us, blessing us, protecting us as we prepare for the coming of Jesus into the world and into our hearts.


It's a small ritual, sometimes not even noticed, but we take comfort in having her there. As we enter chapel three times a day to pray the Divine Office, that angelic quest encourages us to realize this is a special time of year; one filled with gifts and decorations, visits, and food. Our angel reminds us not to lose track of the true meaning of this season.


Christ enters our broken world and our broken hearts to bridge the divide, to repair the breach, and to make us whole again. "Christ is coming," the cherub reminds us, "rejoice and be glad!"

Advent Statio Procession


Five minutes before Evening Prayer each Saturday and Sunday of Advent, our sisters gather in “statio”, facing forward in two lines in the hall just outside of our chapel. With dimmed lighting we wait together in silence, preparing our hearts to encounter God together during Evening Prayer.


When it is time, the Prioress, carrying high a lighted candle, leads us in procession two-by-two into the dark chapel as a musician plays O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. It is the light of Christ, the candle held by our Prioress, that enters first, piercing the darkness of the chapel, reminding us that it is only the Light of Christ, his coming and living among us, that can pierce the darkness, the brokenness in our souls, in  our society, in our world.


The Prioress stands in front of the altar facing us, holding the light of Christ. In turn, we bow to the altar and then to our partner and walk to our seats. This ritual reminds us that we accompany each other on this journey. Christ is the center, whose coming we anticipate – we must prepare our hearts, waiting in silence, to meet him. The Prioress, who takes the place of Christ in the community leads us altogether on this journey, and Christ leads us altogether to everlasting life. We bow to the altar, which is Christ, and we bow to Christ in each other. When we follow the guidance of the Prioress, and our words and actions are rooted in Christ’s love, we live out this ritual in our daily community life.

The Advent


The Advent wreath is a traditional symbol for the season of Advent, helping us mark the weeks with hopeful expectation of the coming of Christ into the world at Christmas, and anticipation of his second coming at the end of time.


At the beginning of Evening Prayer on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent, our Prioress blesses the Advent wreath, praying that the light of its candles will be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. The Prioress, using the flame from the candle she carried into chapel in the statio procession, lights the first candle on the wreath. This candle will be lit each time we gatherfor Prayer during the coming week. Each subsequent Saturday eve, the Prioress will light the candles from the previous weeks, and then the next candle for the coming week.


The light of these candles reminds us that even as we long for the coming of Christ, we carry Christ’s light within us and are called to bring his light into our broken world.

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