Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wedding Gowns

Which of these dresses is a wedding gown? 
The Poor Clare would answer “Both!”

On the right is pictured the wedding gown worn by the Grandmother of our Postulant Joscelyn and which Joscelyn herself will wear on her investiture day next Sunday.  Our community preserves the ancient tradition of dressing in bridal finery on the day a Sister receives the habit of our Order in imitation of our Mother St. Clare, who 800 years ago dressed in her finest gown and left her home the night of Palm Sunday to consecrate herself to Christ at the hands of St. Francis. Along with her Grandmother’s dress, Joscelyn will also wear our own mantilla that for the past 40 years each postulant has worn, only to exchange it for the white veil of a novice.

Pictured with the white wedding gown is a newly sewn, grey-brown Poor Clare habit which is our daily reminder that we are Brides of Christ.  Yes, the cross-formed habit is our wedding dress that we wear every day of our lives.  Like the Church, we are Brides that still await the arrival of the Bridegroom.  On our investiture day we celebrate the solemn engagement, the first step toward the wedding feast.  The next step is the Profession when we are espoused to Christ.  This espousal is then made firm at Final Profession.  Then we live every moment in expectation of His coming to claim us at the end of our mortal days.  Even now, however, we experience foretastes of that future, heavenly joy.

Joscelyn begins her private retreat in preparation for her investiture tomorrow.  Meanwhile, the rest of us are making final preparations.  Pray for her and for us!

Sister Francis Maria-
our ace habit maker

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