Am I Enrolled into the Brown Scapular


Today, I had my priest enroll me into the confraternity of the Brown Scapular. He had never done it, from what I understood and I had to print the Rite for him to use. Here lies my question. This was not done in a formal fashion. He sat me down at a table in an office, read the Rite/Blessing and then placed the scapular upon me. He did not sprinkle any Holy Water at all during the enrollment. Is this enrollment valid?

As a side question, when I do the Little Office daily for the enrollment, do I have to do all sets of prayers, just morning and evening, or just one of them once a day?


The holy water is not necessary.

In the case of the brown scapular enrollment, the essential part of the rite for enrollment is the words quoted above: “I admit you to a share in all the spiritual works performed with the
merciful help of Jesus Christ by the religious of Mount Carmel.” If the priest says that then the person is enrolled. It’s what’s known linguistically as a performative utterance since the uttering of the words performs the act in question. A more commonplace example of a performative utterance would be “I invite you to my party”–by saying it, you do it, and by saying “I admit you” the priest admits the person.

The added element “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (during which the sign of the cross is called for) thus seems to be a qualifier that expresses the spirit in which the admission is done, but it is not essential for the admission itself to take place. What’s essential is the “I admit you” with an indication of what the person is being admitted to.

As long as the priest said those words–or words with equivalent meaning–the person has been admitted and does not need to be re-enrolled.


He should have used holy water but it’s not essential. Find a priest who celebrates an EF Mass and have him do these types of thing. They get taught how to do blessings etc in the traditional seminaries. Sadly a lot of our OF priests weren’t exposed to elements of the Catholic devotional and liturgical tradition.


I remember the priest sprinkling me with holy water when I was enrolled in the Brown Scapular. I can’t answer if its necessary or not but I remember him doing it,


That is a very good question! I was enrolled many years ago by a legion of mary officer. I wonder if I am enrolled since it was not a priest that enrolled me.


I had a similar issue when I was enrolled into the fivefold scapular. I think the priest told me to put Holy Water on the scapulars myself.


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