HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
1703 Macomber St., Toledo, Ohio 43606
Phone 419.206.2190 / E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN OBLATE BENEDICTINE
AUTHOR: Bishop Brian J. Kennedy, O.S.B.
Oblate Benedictine are Orthodox or Catholic men and women, married or single, who live in the world and enjoy and support their families while holding down their usual employment and social ties. It is not necessary to be an Orthodox Christian to be an Oblate. Membership is open to all Catholics and Orthodox Christians who live in Northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan. After all; there is only One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism.
‘Oblate’ literally means ‘one who is offered’. Originally in the Rule of St. Benedict it referred to children who were ‘offered’ by their parents to the monastery for formation and education. When these children reached the age of decision they could chose to stay on in the monastery or leave and live outside. These who left would often keep close links to the monastery. Later on, in the middle Ages, it referred to lay people who wanted to be linked to the spirituality of St Benedict by becoming associated with a particular monastery.
NO ONE’S VICTORY ALONE – A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Alongside daily prayer Oblates have a growing sense of being part of a community and receive the support from being part of something larger than just themselves. They integrate more fully into the Orthodox and Catholic faith experience through the Mass, the Scriptures and meeting others who share their desire to walk more closely with God in Christ.
THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT IN EVERYDAY LIFE
Apart from the prayer and community there is the creative venture of living out the spirituality of St. Benedict in our daily lives. Primarily that means applying it to the context of family, relationships, leisure time and the workplace, living a life of prayer and meditation though the commitments, opportunities and responsibilities of our life. The Rule needs to be adapted to circumstances in a spirit of obedience to the call of the Holy Spirit, stability and conversion of life. ‘The tools for good works’, as St. Benedict calls them, need to be used creatively. The way we live out our Oblation and calling is unique for
LET US LOVE AND SERVE THE LORD BY LOVING AND SERVING EACH OTHER
St. Benedict writes in his Prologue to the Rule: “We intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service”. In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. If your experience convicts you of sin, do not at once be dismayed and fly from the way of salvation, as we know the way to salvation is narrow. For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God’s Commandments with joy and gladness.
Oblate Benedictine are prayer warriors who daily pray the Benedictine Monastic Diurnal. This helps them sanctify their day and draw closer to God in Christ. All seven of the hours in the Diurnal all together take about an hour a day. Christ asked the Apostles, “WILL YOU WATCH ONE HOUR WITH ME?” Oblate Orthodox Benedictine respond “YES, LORD, SPEAK YOUR SERVANT LISTENS”.
The traditional prayer book of the Oblate Benedictine monks in Western Orthodoxy, the Monastic Diurnal, was first set forth in all of its essential features about the year 535 A.D., in the Holy Rule of St. Benedict who is called the father of Western monasticism. Oblates receive a Monastic Diurnal free of all cost to ensure it is not a financial burden.
The Monastic Diurnal (Monastic day time prayers) owes its remote origin to the inspiration of the Old Covenant. God commanded the Aaronic priests (c.1280 BC) to offer a morning and evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-29). During the Babylonian Exile (587-521 BC), when the Temple did not exist, the synagogue services of Torah readings and psalms and hymns developed as a substitute for the bloody sacrifices of the Temple, a sacrifice of praise. The inspiration to do this may have been fulfillment of David’s words, “Seven times a day I praise you” (Ps. 119:164), as well as, “the just man mediates on the law day and night” (Ps. 1:2).
After the people returned to Judea, the Temple was re-built. The prayer services developed in Babylon for the local assemblies, (synagogues) of the people, were brought into Temple use. We know that in addition to Morning and Evening Prayer to accompany the sacrifices, there was prayer at the Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours of the day. The Acts of the Apostles notes that Christians continued to pray at these hours (Third: Acts 2:15; Sixth: Acts 10:9; 10: 3, 13). And, although the Apostles no longer shared in the Temple sacrifices—they had its fulfillment in the “breaking of the bread” (the Eucharist)—they continued to frequent the Temple at the customary hours of prayer (Acts 3:1).
Monastic and eremitical (hermit) practice as it developed in the early Church recognized in the Psalms the perfect form of prayer and did not try to improve upon it. Among the earliest Psalter cycles of which we have a record is the division given by St. Benedict in his Rule (Ch. 8-19) with canonical hours of Lauds (Morning Prayer) offered at sunrise, Prime (1st hour of the day), Terce (3rd hour, or Mid-morning), Sext (6th hour or Midday), None (9th hour or Mid-Afternoon), Vespers (Evening Prayer) offered at sunset, and Compline (Night Prayer) before going to bed.
THE BENEDICTINE MONASTIC DIURNAL IS AN EXTENSION
OF THE ORTHODOX MASS OF ST. GREGORY THE GREAT
Christ continues to bring the love of the Father to His people and reveal His own love for us from the Tabernacle on the Altar. Christ continues to be our Savior, our Redeemer, our life, our sweetness and our hope. From the Tabernacle on the Altar Christ ALONE remains the gate of Heaven, the SOLE arbiter and dispenser of all God’s Graces and gifts; The Mediator of all graces. We are healed by the Sacred Wounds of Christ, we are redeemed by His Precious Blood and we are made clean by His spoken word. It is impossible to be sealed in the Blood of the Lamb without also experiencing the power of the Mass, as the Eucharist is what seals us in the Blood of the Lamb. The Benedictine Monastic Diurnal is an extension of the Mass and is oriented toward the Mass. The Old Testament Scripture texts and Psalms are from the Septuagint Text of Scripture used by Christ and the Apostles.
St. Benedict (A.D. 480-543) writes of the canonical hours in the Rule he wrote: As the Prophet saith: “Seven times a day I have given praise to Thee,” this sacred sevenfold number will be fulfilled by us in this
wise if we perform the duties of our service at the time of Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline; because it was of these day hours that he hath said: Seven times a day I have given praise to Thee. At these times, therefore, let us offer praise to our Creator “for the judgments of His justice;”
namely, at Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.
THE BOOK OF PSALMS IS THE CHURCH’S PRAYER BOOK
THE CANONICAL HOURS
Regular daily prayer appears to have both been inherited from the Jewish Church and an outgrowth of the extended apostolic Eucharist. In accordance with Psalm 118:164 — “Seven times a day do I praise Thee”. Devout Jews would offer prayers and psalms periodically throughout the day, and such services were a feature of synagogue worship in the days of the Apostles.
The watch of prayer which preceded the post-apostolic Eucharist was eventually organized into several hours, one of which remained as the preparatory part of the Eucharist (the Proanaphora or Mass of the Catechumens).
Vespers for Saturday is called Vespers 1 of Sunday to show continuity of worship with the Sabbath Day (Saturday). In the life of the early church for some 600 years or so the faithful met for worship on the Sabbath (Remember, keep holy the Sabbath) and also on Sunday, the Lord’s Day (the Apostles met on the first day of the week).
The chief end of the Monastic Diurnal of the Benedictine tradition is to render to God Praise, Thanksgiving, and Adoration which is His due, and the sanctification of souls.
The Church lives in time and with time. This truth is brought out beautifully in the canonical hours. They provide a perfect way to consecrate the whole day to God and make it holy. The admonition of our Lord, that we are to pray and not grow weary, is thus perfectly fulfilled. For every part of the day the Church has drawn up a special prayer-form, an hour, as it is called, that corresponds to the particular need of that time of the day. The day is like a journey through an arid desert, but every three hours we come upon an oasis that offers us the waters of grace and the cool refreshing shade of heavenly assistance. Spiritually we may revive ourselves at the canonical hours of prayer. The Offices or Hours of the Diurnal are Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. It takes about an hour a day to complete all the hours during the course of the day.
TODAY, CHRIST IS ASKING, WILL YOU WATCH ONE HOUR WITH ME?
OUR APOSTOLIC LINE OF SUCCESSION IS ACCEPTED BY WORLD ORTHODOXY.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ THESE LETTERS OF AFFIRMATION THE BISHOPS BEING ACCLAIMED AS PART OF WORLD ORTHODOXY WITH GRACE FILLED AND SPIRIT FILLED ORDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OLD WORLD PATRIARCH, YET THE PATRIARCHS ACCEPT THEM AS EQUAL BISHOPS IN THE LARGER CHURCH WITH THE SAME APOSTOLIC MISSION.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE O.C.A.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM ALEXANDRIA
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
WE ARE SUCCESSORS TO THE APOSTLES, IN UNION WITH THE ORIGINAL 12 AND ALL THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM AND WITH ALL THOSE WHO WILL COME AFTER US.
HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
IS A NOT FOR PROFIT CHURCH CORPORATION
UNDER SECTION 501 ( c ) 3 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE .