August 7, 2020

What are the obligations of a Secular Carmelite?

The Secular Carmelite assumes these main obligations:

  • To wear the habit of the Order, the brown Scapular of Carmel, as a sign of dedication to Our Lady’s Order.

  • To recite the Church’s Divine Office: Morning and Evening Prayer (Lauds & Vespers); and if possible, Night Prayer (Compline) before retiring.

  • To spend at least half an hour each day in silent mental prayer. This may be done either at one time, or in two fifteen-minute periods. Mental prayer is most important because it constitutes the very essence of Carmel.

  • The Secular Carmelite is also urged, as far as possible, to assist at daily Mass; to have a special devotion to Mary; to undertake spiritual readings, especially the Scriptures; to foster a spirit of detachment – not so much a giving up of things but rather giving up our selfishness.

  • To practice fraternal charity and participate in the Church’s apostolate.

  • Faithful attendance at the monthly fraternal meeting, where we give visible witness to our vocation, obtain spiritual sustenance to persevere and advance in our friendship with the Lord, and render help to our brothers and sisters, principally by our example as well as demonstration of living concern.

Extract from an article titled Spiritual Preparation for Being Received into the Order  by Marie Janine’s OCDS, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community, Washington D.C., in the book Welcome to Carmel, a Handbook for Aspirants