The religious sisters have spent the winter hand-painting ornaments to celebrate the arrival of Easter.
Nestled amid the Catskills Mountains of New York, the Monastery of Bethlehem is home to a community of religious sisters who, in solitude and silence, live lives of prayer and devotion.
The Sisters of Bethlehem of the Assumption of the Virgin and of St. Bruno are part of a Catholic religious order founded on November 1, 1950, following the promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.
The monastery in New York is one of 34 that belong to the order, and is home to 14 sisters, age 32 to 75, who, in the monastic tradition of the Desert Fathers, spend every waking moment in prayer and adoration.
To support this way of life, the sisters create beautiful works of art that are for sale on the monastery’s website. Over these past winter months, the sisters have been hard at work hand-painting china and pottery in preparation for celebrating the arrival of Easter.
As one sister told us, “We have also been working on our new spring collection. Made in prayer and in solitude with God, bearing in our hearts these difficult times that unite all humanity, we hope this collection will be expressive of the Light, the Joy and the beauty of Him who announces a new dawn and a new season.”
Hand-painted Easter ornaments and egg cups
This winter the sisters have been busy creating exquisite, hand-painted Easter ornaments. These meticulously decorated items feature scenes from the 11 Resurrection Gospels and traditional crosses, as well as the Paschal Lamb with the Cross.
The egg cups feature traditional patterns used for centuries by Christians around the world.
The Easter ornaments and egg cups make lovely gifts, and can form a collection of family heirlooms to be brought out every Easter to celebrate the coming of the Lord. Visit the monastery’s online shop to purchase them today.
Spring china collection
To herald the coming of Easter and the season of spring, the sisters are introducing four new chinaware patterns that are evocative of this time of renewal. The chinaware is of the highest quality, and prayerfully hand-painted by the sisters of the monastery. They are available to purchase here.
A meditation from the sisters of the Monastery of Bethlehem
We are pleased to share with our readers a reflection on the coming of Easter and spring from the sisters of the Monastery of Bethlehem. This meditation is a wonderful Lenten exercise, and glimpse into the sisters’ fruitful prayer lives:
In the book of the Cosmos, we can read the Goodness, the Beauty, and the creative Strength of God who brings to life, maintains in life, and makes life spring forth from nothingness. Thus, He shows us in the nature He creates out of Love for man, that the death of winter does not prevent the rebirth of spring where forms, sounds, colors and fragrances are precursors of the joy of the Resurrection to which we are heading in this Lenten Season. The blossoming of trees, of flowers after the black and white sceneries of the cold season, are visible signs of His eternal Power and His Divinity in whom life is stronger than death. The Paschal mystery we prepare to celebrate is the passage from death to life in which Jesus precedes us, and is the way of glorification of each of his disciples. In His death on the Cross and in His Resurrection, Jesus is the living Book of the too great Love of God who opens for us the passage from ephemeral life to eternal life in His Kingdom.
In this light, we can also see how many persons are in the book of the dark events of life, like blossoms who allow us to live in confidence and in hope, the challenges of the pandemic and other crises. They show us the way toward Easter, toward the Light which has no setting, toward the Victory which has no defeat, toward Christ who saves and consoles.
Visit the Easter Boutique and learn more about the Monastery
To learn more about the Monastery of Bethlehem in Livingston Manor, New York, visit https://www.monasteryofbethlehemnewyork.com. And shop at the Monastery’s Easter Boutique to help support the sisters.