The Transitus is a Franciscan celebration of the passing of Francis from this life to eternal life. Undoubtedly this is the most important Franciscan event of the year.
Franciscan priests, brothers, Sisters, and seculars all gather to commemorate the death of Francis with a special liturgy that includes readings about the Saint's life and death. Sometimes certain events are dramatized. It is a very special vigil, as it is held at the vigil of the Feast of Saint Francis--and the vigil that Francis' followers kept at his deathbed is recalled. The mood is solemn but not mournful, because Francis was moving on to something better.
So many years, like this year, something gets in the way of my participating in this celebration. This time, it was as simple as Big Brother getting home very late from his cross-country meet, and my husband needing to attend a Boy Scout Leaders' meeting. As our parish was not hosting the Transitus this year, but was organizing a carpool to a church in another town for a multi-parish Transitus, the distance suddenly became that last insurmountable obstacle. I'm just glad that this time, it's not a death in the family that has kept me from attending Transitus. And I'm glad that I will be able to sing my heart out tomorrow night as our parish celebrates the Feast.