Oblates of the Protecting veil
What is an Oblate?
The term "oblate" derives from the Latin word "oblatus," which signifies an offering or someone/something that is offered. In the Eastern Order of the Protecting Veil, oblates are laypeople who perceive a divine calling to express their faith in a particular manner by aligning themselves with a monastic community. This association is often formalized through a commitment ceremony and entails adopting a lifestyle and adhering to specific spiritual practices inspired by the monastic tradition of the community.
The vocation of an oblate is a summons from God to live in a distinctive way, intimately connected to a monastic community. It involves engaging in regular prayer, meditation, and acts of service to others, as well as embracing a specific lifestyle and following spiritual practices rooted in the monastic tradition. However, it is essential to recognize that being an oblate does not entail becoming a monk or nun. Rather, it offers a means to nurture and deepen one's spiritual life while remaining engaged with the world. It allows individuals to embody the essence of monastic spirituality amidst worldly commitments and unite their prayers and efforts with those of the monks or nuns.
Being an oblate is considered a vocation—a process of discerning one's response to God's call. It represents a way of mutually enriching the lives of both individuals in the world and monastics who have chosen to withdraw from worldly affairs. It also serves as a testament, as oblates carry the values of monastic life into the world by actively applying the teachings of Scripture, as interpreted in the Typikon, to their daily lives.
Who may be an oblate?
Any individual who identifies as an Eastern Christian or possesses an Eastern theological understanding, and is in good standing within their community, whether they are a layperson or ordained, married or single, and aged 21 years or older, is eligible to consider becoming an Oblate of the Protecting Veil.
Prospective Oblates should genuinely aspire to deepen their Eastern Christian observance and their spiritual life through prayer. They should also be open to the challenge of prioritizing Christ above all else, embracing the motto of "prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ himself." Moreover, they should be ready to invest time and effort into familiarizing themselves with the distinct values and practices that shape monastic and oblate life. Furthermore, they must be willing to submit the aspects related to their oblation under the guidance of the Oblate Master. Want to explore this vocation more? Click Here