Billows of Incense
We had the honor of attending First Profession of Vows and a beautiful Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine, yesterday afternoon. Many of our favorite Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara were renewing their perpetual vows and others were making their First Profession. It was my first experience attending a Mass of this kind and I hope I am fortunate enough to attend many more. This order of nuns and their brother order of priests and religious do everything so beautifully. The Mass, itself, was stunning with billows of incense filling the entire crypt chapel, dozens of priests, deacons and sisters, and an amazing choir made up of members of the orders. I haven't heard such a lovely choir in years. I truly felt like I experienced a little glimpse of Heaven.
Of course, I forgot my camera, but I did get some very blurry photos using my iphone. I can't believe I forgot my camera.
Seven sisters made their First Profession before a priest from the Institute of the Incarnate Word.
It was a beautiful and touching sight to watch the more senior sisters help change the veils from white to blue for their former junior novitiate sisters.
Our favorite smiling sister, Sister Aiparthenos, made her First Profession. I don't believe she could be anymore joyful. In the background there is the statue of Saint Kateri Tekawitha. I believe she is the patron saint of the junior novitiate formation house in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Sister Porte Caeli will always have a special place in our hearts and prayers. She was Special K's kindergarten CCD teacher and Special K absolutely adores her.
The Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara and their brother order, The Institute of the Incarnate Word all wear a gorgeous and unique cross, called the Cross of Matara. Check out the explanation of it's several symbols here. (note: The explanation is embedded in the site. You will have to click the link on the right entitled "Cross of Matara")