Advent in the Monastery- Part 2

In Part Two of our Advent in the Monastery series we would like to share with you our Advent Angels tradition. We also refer to this tradition as our Advent Prayer Partners. At the beginning of Advent each year the names of all of the sisters are put into a tin. In recent years, our very creative Sr. Maureen has been making little ornaments or designs to put the sisters' names on. This year Sister cut out angels on festive paper and attached ribbons.

Each sister picks out one name (without peeking!). This is her prayer partner (or you could say she is the Advent Angel for the sister whose name she picked) for Advent. The details of how a sister goes about praying for her partner are left up to her. Some sisters will give their prayer partner a little gift during Advent or at Christmas, but the main purpose is to pray especially for that sister as she prepares her heart for the coming of the Christ Child. This tradition is similar to "Secret Santa" but the gift we give is our prayers, which really is the best gift of all.

Who the Advent Angels are is kept secret. Everyone in the community is a part of the Advent Angels tradition, even our sisters who happen to be outside of the monastery in nursing homes. On Christmas, often at our talking dinner, we go around the room and share who we were praying for during Advent.