"I will not leave you orphans, I will send the paraclete who will remind you...." These words said by Jesus more than two hundred years ago were again repeated to us and the universal church just before the Ascension of our Lord, Jesus Christ.This preparation of the coming of the Holy Spirit, here in Auteuil, was very special for me as i was already in the in the process of integration of my religious life. Being blessed to attend the Third Year Session of 2009, I am grateful for the liturgical preparation done here in Auteuil, our Mother House.
We started the novena of the holy spirit on Friday morning, the day after the a ascension. Before starting Laudes, Sr. Diana, our Superior General, stood in front of the sanctuary and invited the sisters to pick from her hands a small card. Each sister would then pray for the gift of the holy spirit written on her card. On top of this card was a picture of a dove, below it were the words "Viens en nos coeurs Esprit de force" ( counsel, ........), Pentecote 2009 Auteuil and the cross of the congregation was at the bottom of the card. As we entered the chapel, there was a red portrait of a dove that symbolised the Holy Spirit. On the stairs leading to the altar, were nine well arranged red candles symbol of the nine days of waiting. Near the altar was the world globe representing all humanity.During Laudes ( Morning Prayer) five minutes before the Overture, one sister would light one of the candles from the Easter candle light while the community in Taize "Veni spiritus santus, veni creature spiritus". After lighting the candle, another sister would pray in her own language to the holy on a particular world situation while the sisters were now humming the "veni creature spiritus. This was repeated for the nine days of the novena. We were all in solidarity with the pains of our world that needs the healing of the holy spirit.The lit candles kept burning during Vespers and Eucharistic celebrations.
Saturday morning of the 27th of May, all the nine red candles were lit, a symbolic expression of the great need of the holy spirit in our hearts to enable us to cooperate with God in renewing the face of the earth.
At 9.15pm we had the pentecote Vigile. As we entered the chapel we each got a small candle and only the Easter candle was lit. We were then invited by Sr. Catherine Sesboue to go and sit in front of the santuary. As we sung the veni creature spiritu in low voices, Sr. Rachel lit the "Feu Nouveau"( New Fire) that was placed in front of the altar. It was like the burning bush in the Book of Exodus. We then invoked the holy spirit in our different languages for about ten minutes. We then lit our small candles, placed them on the top of the benches.The psalms, canticles and readings of the day were sung and read in different languages.
Pentecote morning our candles were lit and one could feel newness and the presence of the Holy spirit among us. At the end of Laudes we took our small burning candles around the Easter candle. On the same day after the Eucharistic celebration the priest put off the Easter candle a sign of ending the Easer season and the beginning of the ordinary time in the power of RESURRECTION.
Wishing you God’s blessing
Sr. Sr. Nancy Nwawira
Kenya - Tanzanie