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Carmelite Monks
Carmelite Rite

The beauty and universality of the Church is particularly manifested through the diversity of the various liturgical rites. This reality has constantly been a source of enrichment for the whole Mystical Body of Christ. This richness was particularly emphasized by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council who taught, that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.(Sacrosactum Concilium)

The Carmelite Rite Liturgy, also known as the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of Jerusalem, is rooted in the holy soil sanctified by the footsteps of Jesus and Mary. Beginning in the 12th century, and for only a brief period, a Latin Kingdom was established in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. As the Latin Church established itself in Jerusalem, the western Liturgy brought by the settlers became shaped and inspired by the places and events of the Holy Land. In the course of time this liturgy, exiled from the Holy Land, was maintained by the Carmelite Order who continued to deepen its' profound Marian roots.

The Carmelite monks entering into the praises of God in the Liturgy, pray not only in union with Christ, but also in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Through the Carmelite Rite the Monks peer into the mysteries of our redemption through the eyes of God's humble handmaid, the Virgin Mother. In Advent we joyfully accompany Mary and Joseph as they approach Bethlehem and this is celebrated liturgically in the feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 18th. Entering into every liturgical season we stay close to Our Beloved Mother, through her eyes pondering every moment of her Son's life. It is as if the Mother of God herself allowed the beautiful symphony of her soul to be continued in the Carmelite Liturgy.

The monks learn from Our Lady's liturgy their particular mission in the Church. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came filling the hearts of the apostles with fire and power to accomplish the mission entrusted to them by Christ. At that moment Our Blessed Mother received no small mission as well. She was not called to convert nations by preaching or teaching, but to be drawn in faith more and more deeply into the Trinity, where she would burn with a near infinite charity, to exercise an apostolate upon which all others would depend, that is to be, Love in the Heart of the Church. The monks mission in the Church, like our Lady, is to be ever present through faith before the Most Holy Trinity, interceding and mediating grace for all the members of Mystical Body of Christ.