With the singing of the "O Antiphons" comes the chaos and flurry of decorating the monastery. The choir and chapel won't be decorated for Christmas until the VERY LAST MINUTE. Last night at recreation Sr. Maria, never one to do something until the last minute, suggested that we get our charges decorated by December 23rd, which just happens to be the day of the "dress rehearsal" for our little concert which is sandwiched in between Matins and Midnight Mass.
It's sort of a ritual that every year someone makes this reasonable suggestion but it never happens although we try hard! Right now, there are boxes, mops, brooms, decorations, etc. in just about every corner of the house. We had to do a bit of navigating tonight for the Salve Procession from the Choir to our Lady's shrine in the refectory. Sr. Mary Rose Dominic's refectory decorations are legendary!
Today, Sr. Mary Catharine tempted everyone by making her Panforte and leaving it out on the kitchen counter to cool! We were further informed that it won't even be served at Christmas but is being kept for the Novitiate Open House on December 28th, the Holy Innocents.
Who needs extra penance when your Sisters provide it for you?