The above page was scanned from an old 1955 copy of the book My Beloved: The Story of a Carmelite Nun by Mother Catherine Thomas, D.C. (now initialed "OCD").
One of the most treasured of Carmelite customs, shared by Carmels throughout the world, is the Advent Procession. Each sister picks a Christmas picture card from the display set up in the recreation room to determine the day she will receive the Infant into her cell for the day, spending the day in recollection with Him, in preparation for Christmas.
This is how it works. After Vespers the evening before her "day with little Jesus" the sister comes to the front of the choir and, kissing the Babe, receives Him from the prioress while the sisters begin the Advent hymn she chose for the procession. The two youngest in religious life carry the lanterns with the sister and Jesus at the back. Once the sister reaches her cell she and Jesus enter and Jesus is placed in the special area she has prepared for Him and while all adore Him they finish the hymn and bid farewell, promising their prayers for a blessed and holy day with Jesus. You will hear "ooo's" and "aaah's" in admiration of the decorations in the cell and doorway put up by the sister for the special Guest of honor.
Here you can see Sr. Cecilia's lovely welcome to the tiny Baby, who is wearing a night cap that's a tad too big!
More to come! See you soon!