On the vigil of the Annunciation we have the custom of Solemn Chapter (or Joyous Chapter, depending on what monastery you belong to!) This chapter announces the great Solemnity of the Annunciation, the coming of the Word mad Flesh!
This is a special feast for Dominicans, consecrated entirely to the preaching of the Incarnate Word. You might say it is our "feast day"!
After one of the chantresses--this year it was Sr. Mary Martin--sings the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John the community prostrates making the venia, a prostration done on the side and well, peculiar to Dominicans! Then, Sr. Denise Marie invites the one who is to give the reflection to come forward and sit next to her. This is always a well kept secret!
After, we all sang the Verbum Caro, a beautiful responsory sung at Christmas Matins. Because we have so many new sisters we've been practicing it all week! Although there are mistakes we share it with you.
Verbum Caro Responsory:
EDIT: Hope this player doesn't blast your ears when you open our blog! It should be fixed now!