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Structured but flexible

One of the attractive features of our Secular Carmelite meetings is the combination of a firm structure with flexibility. There are certain fixed features in each group like a period of silent prayer, recitation of one or more of the parts of the Divine Office of the Church, discussion of a text by one of our Carmelite teachers of prayer, and so forth. But given these fixed elements, we have considerable scope for the way we structure the meeting, which of course also depends on the time of day when the meeting is held. Most groups meet on Saturdays and some of them are fortunate to have access to holy mass during the meetings. We meet on an evening and have access not to mass but generally to Adoration and Benediction and Confession. Our elected Council makes the decision about the way we put together the elements, taking account of the views of the members. Unusually this year we have had a request from HQ in Rome to study texts from St Therese of Lisieux together in our groups and communities all over the world, and that has strengthened our sense of belonging to a global movement within the Church.

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