Rule of Life for Associates
of the Blessed Sacrament
Aggregation of the
SAINT PETER JULIAN EYMARD
This Rule of Life for Associates lays a foundation of Eucharistic life for lay people associated with the religious Institutes founded by Saint Peter Julian Eymard: the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
It stems from the long tradition of our religious families, which, starting from Saint Peter Julian Eymard, gave life to a public association of lay faithful called the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament in order to share the Eucharistic mission with the laity.
The present text expresses a renewed vision of associated life of lay faithful with our Congregation taking into account the experiences made over the last years, especially since the approval of the respective two Eymardian Institutes' Rule of Life.
It is offered to all those who feel moved by the Holy Spirit and understand themselves as belonging to the one spiritual family which draws inspiration from Saint Peter Julian Eymard.
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I - Identity and Scope
Inspired by the spirit of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, we form a lay Association, approved by the Church, called the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament in partnership with the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
We thus seek to pursue our Christian vocation and our call to holiness by following the evangelical way taught by Saint Peter Julian Eymard.
2 Our Ideal
Our Ideal is to live the mystery of the Eucharist fully and to make known its meaning, so that Christ's reign may come and the glory of God may be revealed to the world.
In response to our baptismal vocation we seek to witness to Christ's presence at the crossroads of society and, starting from the Eucharist, we strive to influence our world in the light of this Mystery, Source and Summit of all Evangelizing.
3 The Founder
We are inspired by the teachings and example of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, "Outstanding Apostle of the Eucharist." He responded to the needs of the people of his time by proclaiming God's love manifested in a special way in Christ's gift in the Eucharist; he encouraged the faithful to share, as associated members, in the charism and the mission of the religious Congregations he founded.
Convinced that a life cannot be fully Eucharistic if it is not consecrated to God and to people, he left us an example of contemplation and apostolic action.
We are called to live an authentically Eucharistic Christian spirituality, and we are moved by the spirit of love that led Christ to give his life for the world and to perpetuate this gift in the Eucharist.
We associate ourselves to this gift that he makes of himself, and we put ourselves at the service of the Kingdom, making our own the Apostle's words: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."
5 The Life of the Associates
The Eucharistic lifestyle of Christians is ecclesial and communal.
Following the example of the first Christian community, our experience of communion is nourished by the Word, by the "breaking of Bread," by prayer, and by listening to the teaching of the Apostles. By living with "one heart and one soul" we witness to the presence of the Risen Lord.
We commit ourselves to being Associates by sharing in gatherings of prayer and formation.
II - A Life Shaped by the Eucharist
6 The Eucharist at the Center of Our Life
The Eucharist shapes our lifestyle as individuals, as family members and as members of society. We Endeavor to understand every reality in the light of this sacrament and we contribute to a Christian vision of our global reality.
By means of a formation program we strive to acquire an ever more profound appreciation of the qualities of a Eucharistic life, in order to foster a mature faith and to extend our presence in society and in the Church.
7 The Eucharistic Celebration
The celebration of the Memorial of the Lord is at the center of our life as individual persons and as family members. It is the starting point of our understanding of the Eucharist and the inspiration of our prayer and our commitment.
We actively and joyfully participate in the banquet of the Risen Christ on the Lord's Day, on Feast Days, and whenever possible, even on weekdays. We nourish our faith at the Table of the Word of God, especially through the daily liturgical readings.
Since we are called to witness to a Eucharistic lifestyle, we strive to become by our entire lives "adorers in spirit and truth whom the Father seeks."
8 The Prayer of Contemplation and Adoration
In a prayer of contemplation and adoration of Christ present in the Eucharist, solemnly exposed or in the tabernacle, we prolong the grace of the Mystery celebrated, intensifying our union with Christ so as to become with him and like him bread broken for a new world.
Insofar as we can, we commit ourselves
to personal Eucharistic adoration, whether monthly, weekly or daily. This prayer is part of our mission and holds an important place in our lives.
The method of prayer taught by Saint Peter Julian Eymard is inspired by the celebration of the Eucharist.
9 Liturgy of the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours spreads the riches of the Eucharistic mystery over the various hours of the day and at the same time it prepares for the celebration of this mystery. It is the voice of the Church praising her Lord
and with him offering the spiritual worship of the whole Mystical Bode to the Father.
Insofar as we can, we share this prayer of the Church, both in a communal and personal way, giving particular importance to Morning and Evening Prayer (Lauds & Vespers).
10 The Liturgical Year
The Liturgical Year provides the context for our journey of faith, and offers us a Christian orientation for choices we make. Since we called to be transformed into Christ, we can thereby live the mysteries
of his saving actions more intensely, and allow them to shape our life and commitment. We joyously celebrate the feasts special to our Association: the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament on May 13, the feast of Saint Peter Julian Eymard on August 2, and the day of his baptism, on February 5.
11 With Mary
The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus and of the Church, is the indispensable model of the Eucharistic life. She shared the disciples' life of prayer in the Cenacle
and their apostolic journeying in the world.
Like her, we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit so that, docile to his action, we may contribute effectively to the coming of the Kingdom.
We honor and also invoke her by the title: "Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament."
III - Mission and Service
12 Sharing In the Mission of the Church
We welcome Christ's command to the apostles, and like them we proclaim the Gospel and give witness to id with our lives. We invite all people to that communion with God which we celebrate in the Eucharist. We collaborate with men and women of good will towards the building of a world of justice and solidarity.
We are read to assume lay ministries in liturgy, in sharing of faith and in the pastoral structures of the church.
13 Christian Vision of Temporal Realities
Nourished by the Eucharist, source of liberation and communion, we wish to promote gospel values in social and political life, in the world of labor and finance, in the defense of family and of life, in the field of culture, education, sciences and arts, in the media, in the search for justice and peace, in the conservation of creation.
14 Proclamation and Eucharistic Catechesis
Like the disciples of Emmaus, who encountered the Risen Lord and recognized him in the breaking of Bread, we accompany all those who are seeking meaning in their lives and we proclaim Christ, the Word of eternal life.
To accomplish this, we are available to help in providing catechesis in our parish, especially towards those preparing for their first participation in the Eucharist, both children and adults.
We collaborate in the various initiatives aimed at promoting and forming an authentic Christian and Eucharistic spirituality.
As members of the Aggregation we have a special love for the liturgy. We offer our availability for preparing and animating liturgical celebrations, especially the Sunday Eucharist in our parish.
Those having the talent to undertake the following ministries volunteer their availability to become Readers, Acolytes, Coordinators, and Ministers of Communion to the sick, etc.
We contribute to the Eucharistic formation of those who exercise or are preparing to undertake these ministries.
We collaborate in overseeing everything that is required for the worthy celebration of the sacred Mysteries of the Lord: place of celebration, flowers, sacristy, etc.
16 Worship of the Eucharist
We engage in all the various expressions of Eucharistic worship: solemn exposition, Eucharistic days of recollection, Forty Hours, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Eucharistic Congresses.
We foster adoration by inviting the faithful and in being available to participate in a schedule organized for adoration. We participate and collaborate in animating occasions of the communal adoration set up by the parish.
17 Service of Charity and Social Commitment
We receive the inspiration and the strength for our service of charity and our commitment to transform society, from Christ, who offers himself totally to us in the Eucharist.
We share in Christ's mission of bringing the Good News of Salvation to the least and the marginalized, to those oppressed by poverty, weakness, illness and hardship and to those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice.
We take an active part in the actions of our local Church to foster solidarity, human dignity, and the holistic development of people. We take our inspiration for this mission from the social doctrine of the Church.
IV - Admission and Ongoing Formation
18 Condition for Admission
Any lay person living a committed Christian life and who is at least 18 years old can become a member of the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
To belong to the Aggregation requires a free choice that is motivated and has matured under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Candidates will make known to the local Director their desire to join the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Candidates will then follow a suitable program of preparation and a period of probation (at least six months / one year) in view of making their Promise of commitment.
19 Program of Preparation
Under the guidance of the Director, the program of preparation comprises: prayer, deepening of the life of faith, appreciation of the specific vocation of lay persons in the Church, catechesis about the Eucharist, knowledge of the life and charism of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, study of the Rule of Life of the Association sharing in the life and activities of the Association.
At the end of the period of preparation and probation, candidates make the Promise to commit themselves to live their baptismal consecration along the evangelical way taught by Saint Peter Julian Eymard in accordance with the Rule of Life for
Associates of the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
Being admitted entails inscription in the Register of members of the Aggregation. As fitting, the occasion of admission will be marked by a public celebration of welcome, with the giving of an distinctive insignia and the pronouncing of the Promise of commitment.
For just and valid reasons, the commitment undertaken can end either by a personal decision that has seriously matured and been made known to the Director, or by the decision of the Director, after having explained the reasons for it and after having dialogued with the person concerned.
21 Ongoing Formation
Members of the aggregation are aware that their sharing in the charism will be all the more fruitful and profound insofar as they become imbued with an authentic Christian spirit in accord with the spirituality and the mission of the Congregation itself.
To Foster this purpose, they take part in the formation initiatives and gatherings arranged for them at the local and Congregational levels.
Members will attend to their personal formation by study and reflection, deepening their understanding of the Holy Scriptures, the Church's teaching, and the spirituality of the founder.
V - Organization and Government
22 One Single Spiritual Family
The same spirituality and same ideal unites consecrated and lay members of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation as one spiritual family.
Where there is a community of the Religious of the Blessed Sacrament, the lay members share with them social and prayer times, mission gatherings and formation initiatives. As associates, they are part of the extended Eymardian family which finds its identity in the spirit and mission of Saint Peter Julian Eymard.
The essential features and structure of the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament as
described in this document, may be adapted according to circumstances and places.
23 Jurdical Configuration
The Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament is configured, according to the Code of Canon Law, as an "Association of Christ's faithful."
The organization consequently follows the specific norms of the code as set out in cannon 298-311 and 312-320, which relate to public associations of the faithful.
It is united to the Congregations of the Religious and Servants of the Blessed Sacrament as it's "own association" since it was founded by Saint Peter Julian Eymard as a spiritual affiliation of his Congregations, but also because it has been officially declared
as such by the Holy See for the Religious (20.12.1858; cf. SC Rei. Decr. 15.10.1957 in "Analecta" V p. 62) and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament (Laudatory Brief 2.8.1872).
It was erected as a "Public, universal and international Association" (can. 312 § 1, 1°), in fact, it was constituted, almost from its beginnings, as such by the Holy See (cf. Lit. Ap. 29.1.1875 and 8.5.1897) and thus enabled to follow its objectives in the name of the Church (can. 313). To it from 1 August 1923 were affiliated all lay associations of the two religious Congregations, thus officially confirming also the communion that unites all lay associates of the great Eymardian family who share the same Eucharistic spirituality and mission.
24 General, Provincial and Local Organization and Government
The aggregation, by participating in the charism of the two Congregations founded by saint Peter Julian Eymard, is placed under their overall direction (can. 303).
It is organized on an international, national, and local level.
The overall direction of the Aggregation is entrusted to the Superiors General of the two Congregations, its headquarters is at the respective Generalates: Via Giovanni Battista de Rossi 46, 00161 Roma (Italia); 580 rue Dufferin, Sherbrooke, Qc (Canada J1h 4N1).
The National Director is the Provincial Superior or a religious delegated for this ministry.
The local Director of the Aggregation in the churches and shrines of the Congregation is by right the Superior of the community, who can delegate this task to another religious of the Congregation.
For churches or shrines not of the Congregation, the local Director is named by the local Ordinary (can. 317 § 2), in dialogue with the Provincial Superior.
Where both religious Congregations are present, there is a close collaboration between those responsible and the members of the aggregation, and common initiatives are organized regarding formation and mission.
Insofar as possible, there will be a means of liaison and communication between the Associates.
25 Erection of Individual Branches
The aggregation can be set up in each community of the Congregations, or at churches connected to each community of the two Institutes, by their Provincial Superiors in accordance with cannons 312 § 2 and 611 § 2.
Other than in its communities in churches, in the territory of a diocese, the Aggregation can be erected with the written permission of the diocesan Bishop (can. 312 § 2).
26 Unity and Diversity
The Aggregation can include various groups or sections, according to the different ways of participating in the Eucharistic spirituality, apostolate and respective commitments. Each section can have an appropriate name (Eucharistic Fraternity, Eucharistic Movement, Blessed Sacrament Laity...) and will determine its own distinctive features with its own guidelines.
27 Tasks of the Local Director and the Council
The local Director has full authority for the discipline of the Association. In carrying out this responsibility he is assisted by a Board of at least two members. These
members of the board are elected by the Associates for a determined period (one, two or three years) and are re-eligible.
In dialogue with the Board, the Director will see to it that the Associates:
- be formed in Eucharistic spirituality,
- be introduced into prayer according to Saint Peter Julian Eymard's charism,
- grow in a life of witness and service inspired by the Eucharist,
- deepen their knowledge of the Church's social doctrine
- express their lay apostolate in communion with the local church.
In dialogue with the Board, the Director convokes and presides at the meetings, which are normally held each month.
28 Administration and Sharing in the Works of Charity
Associates will contribute to the annual budget approved for the needs of the life of the Association, and will share in the initiatives and works of charity promoted by the Aggregation.
Associates of the Blessed Sacrament
God of all Holiness, you awakened
in Saint Peter Julian Eymard
a profound love for the Eucharist,
in which Christ, your son, offers himself for
the life of the world.
Consumed by this love, Saint Peter Julian
spent his life
proclaiming it to everyone.
I wish to live my baptismal consecration
according to the charism of Saint Peter
and I want to place at the center of my life
the Paschal mystery,
to contemplate it in prayer and to share with
the life flowing from it.
To this purpose, I [My Name],
express freely my desire to become a
the AGGREGATION OF THE BLESSED
and be inspired
by the Rule of Life for Associates.
Placing my trust in Mary, Our Lady of the
I pledge to help bring justice and love to our
so that Christ's Kingdom may come
and God's glory may be revealed.
Acclamation by the Assembly:
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Gracious God of our ancestors, you led Peter Julian Eymard, like Jacob in times past, on a journey of faith. Under the guidance of your gentle Spirit, Peter Julian discovered the gift of love in the Eucharist which your son Jesus offered for the hungers of humanity. Grant that we may celebrate this mystery worthily, adore it profoundly, and proclaim it prophetically for your greater glory. Amen.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Apostle of the Eucharist, pray for us!
Prayer to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed are you, Mary
exalted Daughter of Sion!
You are highly favored and
full of grace,
for the Spirit of God
descended upon you.
We magnify the Lord
and rejoice with you
for the gift
of the Word made flesh,
bread of life and cup of joy.
of the Blessed Sacrament,
our model of prayer in the Cenacle,
pray for us
that we may become
what we receive,
the body of Christ your son.
Apostles of the Eucharistic Prayer
God of life and of light, your love for us surpasses all our hopes and desires.
Renew our resolve to gather as your people and to celebrate your faithful love for us manifested in Jesus' gift of the Eucharist.
Feed us at the table where we long for your presence more than for life itself. May we cherish the gifts of bread and wine and share these blessings with our brothers and sisters.
Send us now, as witnesses of your gospel into a world of fragile peace and broken promises, so that, formed into the likeness of your son, Jesus, we may worship you in Spirit and Truth and proclaim your mighty deeds throughout the world. Amen.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Apostle of the Eucharist, Pray for us.
Adapted from the liturgical prayers for Sundays.
Loving and Generous God
you have called us by name
and invited us to follow you;
Help us to grow in the love and
in the service of our Church.
Bless our Church by raising up
holy and generous leaders
from our family and friends
who will serve Your people
as Sisters, Priests, Brothers,
deacons, and Lay Ministers.
Inspire us to know You in your Word
and to love You in the Eucharist.
Open our hearts to hear Your call
to be witnesses of Your love
for Your greater glory.
We offer this prayer through Your Son,
and through the intersession of Saint Peter Julian Eymard and of Our Lady of the Cenacle. Amen.
A Way of Eucharistic Prayer
- Jesus, I acknowledge your real presence in the Eucharist and dwelling within me, loving me as I am. Pause for silent prayer
- Jesus, I praise the wonders of your love, the beauty of creation, the light of your truth. Pause for silent prayer
- Jesus, I thank you for the abundant blessings from your hands that provide all I need. Pause for silent prayer
- Jesus, I am sorry for the times I have fallen short in loving you by not loving others. Pause for silent prayer
- Lord, I pray for our church and world, my own needs and those of others; and I pray especially for ________. Pause for silent prayer
"In your prayer aspire to nourish yourself upon God... This is the secret of true prayer; to discover God's action and plans in His love for us! Then the soul cries out 'How good you are, oh my God! What can I do for you? What could please you?' That is the which that rises from the hearth. To attain such a living prayer, we must forget ourselves, or avoid seeking ourselves in any way in prayer. We must simplify the work of our mind by a simple and calm view of God's truths."