Pilgrims praying at Aylesford Carmelite Priory
"Prayer is the centre of our lives, and authentic community and ministry spring from this source. The prayer of the Carmelite community is a sign of the praying Church to the world. It recalls the example of Mary, Mother of Jesus, who “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart,” praising the wonders that the Lord had worked in her." (1995 Constitutions of the Carmelite Friars §64)
The great Carmelite St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) described prayer as "nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends", the deepening of a relationship with the God whom we know loves us.
Any style of prayer that nourishes this intimate relationship with God might be practiced by a Carmelite community or individual. There is no single "method" of Carmelite prayer, but the Liturgy (Mass and Divine Office), silence and Scripture (especially in Lectio Divina meditation) have a particularly important place in our life.
For some prayers that are linked to the Carmelite Family in a particular way: go to the menu bar above, hover the mouse over Spirituality, and then Carmelite Prayer; you will see a submenu appear.
The Rule of Saint Albert specifies that Carmelites should participate daily, when possible, in the liturgical celebrations of the Divine Office and the Eucharist. To assist Carmelites in following the liturgical year, and the feasts observed in the British Province of Carmelites, an annual Carmelite Liturgical Ordo is produced:
Carmelites are nourished by Word and Sacrament
Requesting the prayer of Carmelites
One of the ministries of the Carmelite Family is to intercede for those who ask our prayers. You can submit a prayer request that will be remembered by the friars at the National Shrine of St. Jude at Faversham.
Further resources on prayer
These publications can be borrowed from some Carmelite community libraries, or purchased from Christian bookshops including Saint Albert's Press in Faversham and the Carmelite Book Service in Oxford.
- Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C., (ed.), Popular Prayers: Third Edition, (Faversham: Saint Albert's Press, 2006). For an extract and details of how to order please click here.
- Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., The Sound of Silence: Listening to the Word of God with Elijah the Prophet, (Faversham: Saint Albert's Press, 2007). For an extract and details of how to order please click here.
- Mark Davis, Glimpses of the Carmelite Way, (West Kirby: Rockpool Publishing, 2007).
- Keith J. Egan, T.O.C., (ed.), Carmelite Prayer: A Tradition for the 21st Century, (Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2003).
- John FitzGerald, O.Carm., Backwards into the Future: Meditations on the Letter to the Hebrews - with a guide to Lectio Divina by Carlos Mesters, O.Carm., (Faversham: Saint Albert's Press, 2005). For details of how to order please click here.
- Irish Province of Carmelites, Meeting God: Carmelite Reflections and Prayers, (Dublin: The Columba Press, 2007).
- Mary McCormack, O.C.D., Upon This Mountain: Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition, (Oxford: Teresian Press, 2009).
- Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm., At the Fountain of Elijah: The Carmelite Tradition, (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1999).
- Redemptus Maria Valabek, O.Carm., Prayer Life in Carmel: Historical Sketches, Carmel in the World Paperbacks, (Rome: Institutum Carmelitanum, 1982).
- John Welch, O.Carm., The Carmelite Way: An Ancient Path for Today's Pilgrim, (Leominster: Gracewing, 1996).
"There is no need to go to heaven in order
to speak with one's Eternal Father or find delight in him.
Nor is there any need to shout.
However softly we speak,
He is near enough to hear us."
St. Teresa of Avila