The Third Order of Carmelites are an integral part of the Carmelite Order made up of mostly lay people (diocesan priests can become members) who seek to live the Carmelite way through living a life of prayer, community and service. Lay Carmelites, like all Carmelites look to the Carmelite Rule for guidance and inspiration, the Rule is said to be the spring from which the river of the Charism flows.
Life as a Lay Carmelite is way of living in a spirit of true communion with the entire family of Carmel into which we are fully accepted and incorporated. The purpose of such commitment is the cultivation of a deeper and constant conversion that seeks God in openness of heart and mind
- in contemplative and prayerful reflection on Christ as he is revealed to us, especially in the Scriptures
- by a sincere sense of community that extends to all and implies an active concern for issues of justice and peace in the world God has entrusted to our stewardship
- by faithful fulfilment of the will of God as it is manifested through the commitments arising from each member’s individual state in life.
Today the Third Order is flourishing in Britain and across the world as the largest expression of the Carmelite Family. To build up bonds of fraternity, Lay Carmelites attend local monthly community meetings where they share their spirituality, prayer and fellowship.
There are also other ways one can be a lay Carmelite without having to join the Third Order such as joining Carmelite Spirituality Groups, The Leaven or enrolling in the Brown Scapular Confraternity, you can find more information about these other expressions of lay Carmel on the Carmelite website (British Province) at www.carmelite.org where you will find links to the Lay Carmelite website and the local Birmingham Third Order website at www.carmelite.org/birmingham.
If you feel you may have a vocation to become a member of the Third Order or would just like more information about Lay Carmel in general please contact:
Mr John Berry (Provincials delegate to the Third Order)