In my younger days (yes, one day I was young!), I remember seeing the movie FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. That was the first time I listened to the song TRADITION (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDtabTufxao). This song that has been described as “electrifying” speaks joyfully about how important tradition is in his village of Anatevka!
Traditions are important also in our Carmelite life. They preserve our cultural heritage and create an atmosphere of security and warmth.
This is why our Carmelite community of Cospicua is embarking on reviving some of our customs that have been lost throughout the years.
On All Saints Day, the community all dressed in their white mantle, gathered in the Novitiate Chapel and from there processed throughout the convent, even into the garden, chanting the Litany of the Saints and stopping briefly in front of each statue that populate our convent to say a short prayer. Father Prior concluded this brief yet exhilarating experience by giving us his blessing.
On All Souls Day, the community again gathered, this time in front of the crypt where for centuries the our friars have been buried, beneath the main presbytery of our Church. This custom had to be abandoned due to a public ordinance. However, on the initiative of our Father Martin, in May 2011 the remains of those friars buried elsewhere were all transferred to the convent of Santa Teresa in Cospicua. Here they were reburied in the Crypt Ossuary.
So just besides our dear brethren, we recited the Rosary, sang the Salve and Father Prior blessed the graves.
We are still together…
For lunch, Father Karm made sure we had the Bones of the Dead (Ghadam tal-Mejtin) – a traditional Maltese biscuit meant to honor the dead on All Souls Day. They have a crumbly short crust pastry and a delicious almond paste filling. Another ‘sweet’ custom that has been preserved religiously.