Over the past year, our sisters have been meeting with liturgical advisers and artists, seeking to renew our Peace Chapel space. We desired to keep many of our original sacred elements: the hand carved legs of the altar and ambo, the simple black iron candle stands, as well as the tabernacle, eternal light, and stands designed by one of our sisters. We were also planning for our sisters; chairs with arms to support our elders, chairs with padding to warm the color of the Chapel and absorb the echo from the brick and sandstone walls.
Our central worship space was back-lit by our beautiful stained glass windows. However, the light from the windows and open walkway space distracted our focus of vision and prayer from the altar, the center of our Eucharistic Celebration. It was advised to create a solid wall to backdrop and draw due honor to the altar, ambo, and presider’s chair. Both pictures show our Chapel during the Easter Season, and the Easter banners and Candle highlight the joy-filled season in our new Peace Chapel. As the Church seasons change, our sisters will bring different artwork, banners, and statues to highlight the space and draw our prayers together at the altar. You are welcome to join in the prayer of the Divine Office and the Celebration of the Eucharist with us weekdays in the Peace Chapel.
Let the oratory be what it is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there. When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any sister who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another’s misconduct (Rule of Benedict, chapter 52).
We have also been renovating the chapel set aside for the reservation of the Eucharist. The tabernacle has always held a place of honor in the center of the space, but the pale curtain did not fully highlight the tabernacle. The renovation changed the curtain out for another wall, this one with a slight curve and a warm and rich color to draw our eyes to the center. The deep wine of the wall brings an even greater shine to the tabernacle peak and causes the contrast of the oak and iron to stand out. You are welcome to take time in your day to rest and pray with our Lord.
And at other times also, if anyone should want to pray by herself, let her go in simply and pray, not in a loud voice but with tears and fervor of heart. She who does not say her prayers in this way, therefore, shall not be permitted to remain in the oratory when the Work of God is ended, lest another be hindered, as we have said (Rule of Benedict, chapter 52).
Blessings to you,
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