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The Promise

"In response to the call of Christ,

I offer myself to Almighty God,

by the help of the Holy Spirit,

with the love of the

Lay Community of St Benedict

to live holy communion,

create holy space

and offer holy service

in ways in which my circumstances allow."

A common declaration of commitment, called the Promise, binds together all members of the LCSB. 

Our promise is a commitment renewed annually to a life in Christian community.

We start our promise with an appeal to our Trinitarian God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - who models to us a life in community. We add to that the horizontal dimension of the love of our own community. Our calling as lay Benedictines is a way of living out our response to the call of Christ with other Christians.

We articulate the promise in a way which is unique to our community - to live holy communion, create holy space and offer holy service.

These commitments come from the heart of our experience of the Rule of St Benedict. We aspire to live holy communion, our expression of the joy of living in community. We create holy space where people can come to refresh themselves, feel safe and nurtured, and where we experience the presence of God.  This has echoes of the Benedictine vow of stability. And lastly, we offer holy service to each other and through our outreach, either as a community or in the individual vocations to which we are called. This echoes the focus in the Rule of St Benedict on work, and on sanctifying the real activities we do to build the Kingdom of God.

We end the Promise with a word of nuance which is typical of the Rule of St Benedict, “in ways in which my circumstances allow.” Whenever St Benedict prescribes in the Rule, he always imagines exceptions and times when the prescription needs to be adapted. Human beings are at the centre of the Rule as they are in the way that we aspire to live our community life.

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One of our members who is a busy mother expresses it like this:

 “It can be difficult to live out Benedictine spirituality in our busy lives, but it is always good to know that the support of a praying community is there when needed. ”

When a seeker becomes a member, he or she will recite the promise for the first time at what we call “The Promise Ceremony”. This is a moving occasion. In addition, every year at the Summer Gathering, all members renew their Promise.

The one to be received must promise stability, fidelity to the monastic lifestyle and obedience before all in the oratory. This is done in the presence of God and the saints.

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