Procession of The Lanterns
150+
Boarders in Years 7 -12 at Kincoppal-Rose Bay

The Procession of The Lanterns is a very special occasion within the boarding community. This annual event brings boarders together to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart. 

What is the Procession of The Lanterns?

The Procession of The Lanterns is held every year at all our schools in Australia and New Zealand on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Before Rose Bay Convent amalgamated with Kincoppal, Rose Bay was a full boarding school, with the exception of a small number of Juniors. After the amalgamation in 1970, the school was too big for all the students to be accommodated in the Procession, so it had to be confined to Boarders only, although the Head Girls and some Year 12 students and other guests are invited.

What happens during the Procession?

After a special dinner held in the boarders' dining room with their families and special guests, the boarders line up outside the darkened Chapel. Each student receives a customised lantern with a candle in it. When the candles are lit, the students process into the Chapel slowly, singing hymns, which were always originally hymns honouring the Sacred Heart. They weave in and out of the benches guided by two leaders (typically Year 12s). The altar is decorated with candles in the shape of a huge heart. The Head Boarder will then go to the lectern and read the Dedication of the School to the Sacred Heart. The students then resume the Procession before finally processing out of the Chapel to assemble outside around Our Lady's statue in Chapel Square where they sing a hymn to Mary before being dismissed.

The Origin of the Procession

The Procession of the Lanterns has been a tradition since 1892, when it was first noted in Sacristy Journals. Since this time, it has been traditionally held on the eve before Sacred Heart Day. 

"The dedication and reverence with which everyone participated illustrated clearly the very meaning of Cor Unum"  -  Jennifer Payten Head Girl 1980

150+
Boarders in Years 7 -12 at Kincoppal-Rose Bay
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