Third Order


#1

Does anyone know if the Church allows (or forbids) a lay person to make private vows (with one’s confessor or privately to God) to live the Rule of an Order (to the best of one’s ability while in the world, or Third Order) rather than making the vows into the actual Order?


#2

There is certainly nothing in Church Law against it. Private Vows are covered by Canon Law. If you go to a Canon Law website ( ourladyswarriors.org/canon/ and look under the section on vows - Part II Title V), you will find it there. I would not make private vows without a working understanding of Canon Law on the subject. However, I think you are very wise indeed to seek spiritual direction before making any sort of private vow, although seeking direction is not strictly necessary, it is the wisest move to make. One could follow a certain Rule of Life, either of an established Order etc., modification of same, or even by a rule of life one sets out for oneself. Again, the wisest thing to do is put it all together (vows and rule of life one would like to follow) and seek spiritual direction, while strictly speaking this is not necessary and one could do it all entirely privately.
The Church does permit, with private vows, that one makes them at Mass and although it is a public Mass, the vows in Church Law remain private vows. You would need to negotiate this with your parish priest or if you have a priest who is your director, with him. Insofar as I am aware, making private vows at Mass is not one's right, rather something that is negotiated with the priest who is to celebrate the Mass and with his agreement - it is a mutually agreed matter.

TS


#3

I know that as I am aspiring member of the ocds, there is one member fully professed who has taken vows. I do not know the circumstances of this but it does exist in Buffalo...


#4

[quote="Shoshana, post:3, topic:231877"]
I know that as I am aspiring member of the ocds, there is one member fully professed who has taken vows. I do not know the circumstances of this but it does exist in Buffalo...

[/quote]

Shoshana, any definitively professed member of the OCDS has the option to make simple vows of chastity and obedience after a good time of discernment and preparation and with the permission of the local Council and the Provincial. It's not obligatory, however, and one doesn't become "more" a Carmelite by doing so, nor does one change one's status to that of a religious. God bless you in your aspirancy!


#5

Can. 1191 §1. A vow, that is, a deliberate and free promise made to God about a possible and better good, must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion.

§2. Unless they are prohibited by law, all who possess suitable use of reason are capable of making a vow.

Can. 1192 §1. A vow is public if a legitimate superior accepts it in the name of the Church; otherwise, it is private.

Anyone can make a private vow. But one needs to know what one is doing and what is involved in a vow. It needs to be well defined.

But one can not make a vow of being a member of a third order (secular order) on ones own..that is and be a member....

Most third orders do not have vows by the way..rather they have solemn promises which are not binding in conscience...


#6

[quote="Bookcat, post:5, topic:231877"]
Can. 1191 §1. A vow, that is, a deliberate and free promise made to God about a possible and better good, must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion.

§2. Unless they are prohibited by law, all who possess suitable use of reason are capable of making a vow.

Can. 1192 §1. A vow is public if a legitimate superior accepts it in the name of the Church; otherwise, it is private.

Anyone can make a private vow. But one needs to know what one is doing and what is involved in a vow. It needs to be well defined.

But one can not make a vow of being a member of a third order (secular order) on ones own..that is and be a member....

Most third orders do not have vows by the way..rather they have solemn promises which are not binding in conscience...

[/quote]

Promies are binding in conscience:

What's the difference between a vow and a promise? Well practically speaking there is none. A vow is seen as a higher calling and thus more binding and more difficult to get released from! olmctempe.com/pastor_letter_archives/2010-01-10-The_Difference_Between_A_Vow_and_a_Promise.html

[LIST]
*]A vow is defined as a promise made to God. The promise is binding, and so differs from a simple resolution which is a present purpose to do or omit certain things in the future.
*]A subsequent change in one's purpose is a want of respect to God: it is like taking away something that has been dedicated to Him, and committing sacrilege in the widest sense of the word. Unlike the simple breach of a promise made to a man, a failure to give to God what has been promised Him is a matter of importance, a very serious offence.
[/LIST]newadvent.org/cathen/15511a.htm

Promises or vows to God should not be made lightly, or without careful and prayerful reflection about what one is doing. Ideally, a vow or a promise to God would not be undertaken without spiritual direction. It is a serious matter binding in conscience.


#7

[quote="TiggerS, post:6, topic:231877"]
Promies are binding in conscience:

Promises or vows to God should not be made lightly, or without careful and prayerful reflection about what one is doing. Ideally, a vow or a promise to God would not be undertaken without spiritual direction. It is a serious matter binding in conscience.

[/quote]

Of course one should not take it lightly. But a promise in a secular third order is a promise not per se to God (as in a vow) but to the community (or at least not in the binding in conscience sense)...

A vow is a promise made to God that must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion.

A promise in a secular third order which is not a vow...does not bind like a vow. Obviously if the promise is to live chastity say...one is bound to live chastity still..but there is no new sin if one does not (unless as perhaps a circumstance?? one would have to ask say the two Carmelite third orders )...as there is in the case of a vow...one sins against the virtue of chastity not the virtue of chastity and the virtue of religion as in the case of a vow...and yes I can see that it can be said that those who promise say obedience have now a new superior..but not as a vow...but rather under the virtue of obedience alone..not the virtue of religion...for they become legit superiors..and just as one can sin against other legit superiors even in secular life ..one could sin there. But as to if it is a sin against the virtue of obedience ..and "when" one would have to look to the particular third order. (but I am not sure though that the Carmelite tertiaries consider the promises to be binding in any new way)

Many secular orders do not have promises of say chastity or obedience...but rather a general solemn promise to live their baptism and the rule and/or charism ...

The promise of a Priest to his Bishop of celibacy is a different kind of promise. It is taking on the new obligation of celibacy.

The living of the rule and charism could be seen as binding in the sense of a "fault" perhaps but not as a sin..except in the case where not to live it would be an ordinary sin..like the case of chastity for those who make a promise of chastity...

Private vows by the way (in general) can be made in way that binds either gravely or venially (or mixed) though in those third orders which take them..such is defined usually by the Order.


#8

I find the new constitutions of the Discalced do refer to their promises in terms of a fixed and perminant obligation.


#9

Promises and vows

2101 In many circumstances, the Christian is called to make promises to God. Baptism and Confirmation, Matrimony and Holy Orders always entail promises. Out of personal devotion, the Christian may also promise to God this action, that prayer, this alms-giving, that pilgrimage, and so forth. Fidelity to promises made to God is a sign of the respect owed to the divine majesty and of love for a faithful God.

2102 "A vow is a deliberate and free promise made to God concerning a possible and better good which must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion,"21 A vow is an act of devotion in which the Christian dedicates himself to God or promises him some good work. By fulfilling his vows he renders to God what has been promised and consecrated to Him. The Acts of the Apostles shows us St. Paul concerned to fulfill the vows he had made.22


#10

One thing you might keep in mind is that Third Order rules are written in that context--the context of community. As a Secular Franciscan, I professed the Rule knowing that living it explicitly requires the support of and participation in, the Fraternity. Our Rule was not designed to be practiced in isolation as a private vow. You literally could not do it, because there are articles which relate to committing oneself to the Fraternity.

I don't know specifics about other Third Orders but I suspect they are the same.


#11

[quote="EvelynEVF, post:10, topic:231877"]
One thing you might keep in mind is that Third Order rules are written in that context--the context of community. As a Secular Franciscan, I professed the Rule knowing that living it explicitly requires the support of and participation in, the Fraternity. Our Rule was not designed to be practiced in isolation as a private vow. You literally could not do it, because there are articles which relate to committing oneself to the Fraternity.

I don't know specifics about other Third Orders but I suspect they are the same.

[/quote]

We Lay Carmelites also have "community" as one of the three main aspects of our charism (Prayer, Community, Service). This is explicitly stated in our Rule and Constitutions.


#12

[quote="FCEGM, post:4, topic:231877"]
Shoshana, any definitively professed member of the OCDS has the option to make simple vows of chastity and obedience after a good time of discernment and preparation and with the permission of the local Council and the Provincial. It's not obligatory, however, and one doesn't become "more" a Carmelite by doing so, nor does one change one's status to that of a religious. God bless you in your aspirancy!

[/quote]







Thank you!:)


#13

I have had trouble to get in to an order because I am to old. But that didn't stop our Lord from calling us. Now if men over , 35, 45, 50 all cut off ages, become a third order and take vows then live in community and call it a semi cloister, (They my have to work and come back) can they wear a habit. they would live on there own money. We would do and act just as a real cloister, monastery, or abbey. ( for prayers) What do you think?


closed #14

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