Today is the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Franciscans from all around the world have a Transitus celebration this evening. The Transitus is a Franciscan devotion to ritually remember the passing of Saint Francis from this life into God.
It is similar to what you might do on the anniversary of the death of a family member or very dear friend. You sit around and remember their lives, recall the day they died and what occurred. You share your memories and talk about how much they meant to you. Tonight at 7 PM we will have a transitus service in our chapel and our hope is that many will join us.
To ritually revisit the story of Francis passing is important to us; without it, something significant would be missing from our celebration. At Transitus tonight we will listen to the stories Francis early brothers and Clare of Assisi shared about the night Francis died. They tell that, despite the pain he was enduring, there was a deep joy and peace in him. He wanted the Gospel read to him and he wanted all his followers there so that we could give them a blessing. And, of course, Francis wanted singing all around him as he welcomed Sister Death. Come see what it is like! If you cant join us, this link might help you to understand a little more about it and then you can plan to join us next year on October 3, 2013: Transitus explanation. http://youtu.be/lTRzZz0Rmdg
St. Francis tells us it is not fitting, when in Gods service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look and so, like good Franciscans, we will have some delightful refreshments after the transitus in order to make tangible our Franciscan joy.