Knights and Dames are called to live the vocation of membership daily. Along with the commitment to support Christians in the Holy Land, members are called to increased personal sanctification. Throughout the year, the Western Lieutenancy offer various events and activities where in the practice of faith and worship members may fulfill that vocation.
The Annual Meeting is the one time during the year that we come together from all over the Lieutenancy to fulfill the mission of our Order: Annual Meetings are a balance of liturgical, spiritual, educational, and social elements. The highlights are the promotion of eligible members in rank, the remembrance of our deceased members, and the investiture of new members. Other opportunities for grace include the two Travelers Masses, the Adoration Chapel, Confession, Compline, spiritual direction, Vigil Retreats, and the opportunity to interact with like-minded Catholics.
In addition, the Meeting provides time for an update on the work of the Order in the Holy Land, an explanation of how the Order’s funds have been used, and the exploration of issues facing Christians in the archdiocese of Jerusalem (the Latin Patriarchate). It also provides us the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the Order. Each member has a firm obligation to attend this meeting. The Annual Meeting is a 3-day event (Friday – Sunday) usually held over the first weekend of October. The location of the Annual Meeting rotates among the nine dioceses in the Western USA Lieutenancy.
The highest calling of Knights and Dames is to the person of Jesus Christ, and for this reason they are to carefully and diligently foster an active life of prayer, especially for the intentions of Christians in the Holy Land and in order to grow in personal holiness and in friendship with God. Daily prayer, especially with prayers of the Order, guide members toward achieving their vocation. As the Constitution of the Order states, “It is not possible to stress sufficiently that the charitable work of the Order must have its roots in the spirituality of its members.”
Feast Days of the Order
Members are asked to especially observe the four Feast Days of the Equestrian Order.
Foremost in the mind of the first crusaders was a determination to pray at the Holy Places and, thereby, obtain forgiveness of sins, and attain eternal salvation. For nine hundred years, members of the Order have traced the route from their homes to the Holy Land to marvel at the places where Our Lord was born, preached, died, and was resurrected. A pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Land is an obligation of every Knight and Dame and should be realized, with the help of God, at least once during one’s lifetime.
Information about upcoming pilgrimages can be found in the Lieutenancy’s newsletter, web site, and in other publications.
First Monday Rosary
The Western Lieutenancy reserves the first Monday of every month as a day of fasting and gathering together in the evening to pray the Rosary. The Area Councillor will arrange for members in the Section to meet at a member’s home or at one of the parishes in the Diocese to pray the Rosary. If unable to join one of these groups, members are encouraged to nonetheless pray the Rosary at home. Contact your Area Councillor for locations and times.
Area Mid-Year Meeting
The Area Councillors manage an annual meeting for their respective sections (dioceses) within the Western Lieutenancy. This meeting could be a Mass and a brunch or a luncheon or dinner with a Mass. Generally the bishop will preside over the Mass and give the homily. Capes will be worn for the Mass. The meeting will include spiritual, educational, and social components. The Lieutenant or a designate will attend to report on the state of the Lieutenancy.
Days of Recollection and Retreats
These activities are held at the Section level and are arranged by the Area Councillor. Generally these are half day events.
From time to time, and especially during the Liturgical seasons of Lent and Advent, the Lieutenancy offers spiritual reflections written by clerical or lay members of the Order. These reflections will be sent by email and posted on the Lieutenancy website.
Attendance at Funerals for Deceased Members of the Order
Members of the Order attend funeral services to honor the deceased Knight or Dame to comfort the family and pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased. Since funeral rites have a private character, the attendance of any delegation of the Order shall be subject to the deceased member’s family prior approval. In case the family approves, the Order shall attend the rite officially with a vested delegation.
Participation in Religious Ceremonies Outside the Order
Attending any religious ceremony outside of the Order is subject to having received a formal invitation from the competent Ordinary. It is the Lieutenant’s duty to determine the Order’s participation according to the kind of invitation, the occasion, and the instruction given by the competent Ecclesiastical Master of Ceremonies. Usually, attending such ceremonies shall be limited to those showing a close connection with the spirit of the Order (rites during Holy Week, Corpus Christi, Exaltation of the Cross, Christmas).