TRADITIONS… OF THE RELIGIOUS OF THE ASSUMPTION
By Sr. Ana Melocoton, R.A.
In all communities of the religious of the Assumption all over the world, whether big or small …in the convent chapel or parish churches, Christmas Eve Mass starts with all the sisters of the community processing in, before the celebrant and the superior bringing in the infant Jesus…the other sisters carry vigil lights…they process with the choir singing a lively Christmas carol…when they reach the crib…the superior gently puts the child on his crib while the vigil candles are left, beautifully arranged around the crib….mass begins….then before communion the sisters go in front forming a semicircle and together before the LAMB OF GOD …they renew their vows made in their day of consecration…TO LIVE POVERTY,CHASTITY,OBEDIENCE UNTIL DEATH… then they receive communion with their spouse to whom they pledged the whole of their lives. This is to renew their vows yearly as in the night St Marie Eugenie and the first five sisters on Christmas Day 1844, made their final definitive gift of self to God…to the newly founded congregation and at that time they added a fourth vow….TO CONSECRATE MY WHOLE LIFE TO EXTENDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN SOULS. Thirty years later, St. Marie Eugenie was to write THE REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST….IS THE REASON I AM A RELIGIOUS OF THE ASSUMPTION…true to all the sisters….”to adore you Jesus, and bring others to you….”
PRIOR TO THIS DAY OF THE RENEWAL OF THE VOWS…. The sisters enter into a triduum of retreat seriously entering again into the meaning of what they will renew in Christmas, a life TOTALLY GIVEN…..
BECAUSE of this, the season of Christmas is special to the sisters….at the media noche repast there is a special surprise for the youngest members the postulants…I will not reveal it here…some of you may still become postulants??? Something you can look forward to…
During the week ‘til Epiphany, every night a raffle….ONE gets the Little statue of the infant Jesus to her room at night to keep during the day…and the others get some virtues to practice…LIKE AN ACT OF HUMILITY….silence…kindness, generosity…poverty, patience…humility etc.etc….sounds childish…but gives simple joys….exchange gifts happens on new year with the little gift received at Christmas….these are our little traditions….we find simple joys in doing these…. Our little joys at Christmas time…traditions from 1844…..