The Procession of the Lanterns is held on the eve of Sacred Heart Day, across all Sacred Heart Schools in Australia and New Zealand. The tradition began in 1892 and now involves all KRB boarders and their families.
The Procession unites our borders, most of whom come from rural NSW, interstate and overseas. It includes a devotion to the Sacred Heart – a Catholic devotion that takes Jesus Christ’s physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity.
The Procession is one of the most visually spectacular events in KRB’s calendar. After a formal dinner held with the boarders’ families and special guests, the students line up outside the darkened Chapel. Each boarder receives a customised lantern with a candle in it. When the candles are lit, the students process into the Chapel slowly, singing hymns honouring the Sacred Heart. They weave in and out of the benches guided by two Year 12 leaders. The altar is decorated with candles in the shape of a huge heart.
The sight and sound of our boarding students carrying candles and singing in our spectacular chapel is moving.
The Head Boarder reads the Dedication of the School to the Sacred Heart from the lectern. Students resume the Procession before finally walking out of the Chapel to assemble outside around Our Lady’s statue in Chapel Square where they sing a hymn to Mary.
“It’s a special opportunity for boarders to come together to celebrate tradition and reinforce our sense of community. Despite it being my last year to attend, I’ll never forget the glowing candles and the singing of hymns accompanied by Mr Stubley on the organ. There’s truly nothing else like it. Some of the girls who started in Year 7, including myself, have attended Procession of the Lanterns many times, however, the magical atmosphere created continues to grow each year we proceed through our beautiful chapel.”
Year 12, Head Boarder