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The Carmelite Order & The Laity

The Second Vatican Council called the Church to new life in the Spirit who gives life to, unifies and moves the whole body. “Christ fills the Church, which is his body and his fullness, with his divine gifts so that it may increase and attain to all the fullness of God” (LG 7). All the baptised, centred in

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A Dream and an Image of the General Chapter

Last night a dear friend asked me to tell him the story of an experience and a thousand feelings came to me as I locked into the unyielding pages a dream and an image.

An Image

The doors of the main chapel in Sassone are closed; inside, there are human shapes, dressed in brown, many of them, filling the rustic benches that shape the lower part of the chapel space

Lay Carmelites with the Scapular

The maternal love that the Blessed Virgin Mary has for the Carmelites is evidenced in the Brown Scapular. It is the sign of protection that Mary offered to the Order of Carmelites during a difficult time of the Order. The legend recorded is that Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock and promised to protect the Order

The Carmelite Laity in the Middle Ages

«The age in which. we live demands that we try by every possible means to turn. the attention of the People once more to the Third Order and promote it everywhere from day to day.»

Most Reverend HILARY M. DOSWALD, O.Carm. (Elian letters, 1940)

The foundation of the Mendicant Orders in the Middle Ages had a profound influence on the faithful — at that time the old monastic spirit flourished in the very midst of the people.

Lay Carmel and the wider Carmelite Family

'Lay Carmel' is the largest branch of the Carmelite Family. The following additional information is offered to help place Lay Carmel within the broader picture of the Carmelite Family.

Carmel's roots in the Laity

Frequently Asked Questions about Third Order

1. What are the basic steps to become a Lay Carmelite?

It is best to become a member of a “local” community (or chapter). You will then begin two periods of formal formation – one leading to Reception, and then another that leads to the Profession Promises. Some time later, one may renew that profession with the pronouncing of the two “private” vows of obedience and chastity,

Nine Themes in Carmelite Spirituality - 8. Carmel is about Community

Lay Carmelites seek God's presence in prayer while living an active life in the world. This duality of contemplative prayer and active ministry was modeled by the first Carmelites who lived as hermits on Mount Carmel, then later became mendicants in the cities of Europe.

Carmel is about Community



As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."