As a canonry of the Order of Prémontré our spirituality is rooted in the ancient canonical and monastic traditions of the Church. We are inspired by the life of Our Holy Father St. Norbert, as well as the writings and Rule of Our Holy Father St. Augustine. Living both a strictly contemplative and pastorally active, or apostolic life, we Norbertines may have been among the first to hold together in unity what appear to be opposing spiritualities.
Our spirituality is also founded on a great devotion to Our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as a special place in our lives to Our Lady, particularly her Immaculate Conception. We are also urged on in our mission by a zeal for souls, a desire to live a penitential life in common, as well as our work, the opus Dei, of singing the Divine Office in choir. We lead structured lives, centred on the monastic ideal of stability. We are not missionaries, though our apostolates may occasionally take us away from home. Rather, we remain rooted, vowed to our local church for life, as well as to a conversion of ways within an Augustinian community.
Our Order can seem confusing, in that each house is autonomous, but we share in a profound identity as Premonstratensians, belonging to a world-wide Order, with a Generalate in Rome. Some houses (especially of the French tradition) emphasise the monastic elements of our spirituality, while others (especially of the Germanic tradition) highlight more the canonical and apostolic life. St. Norbert himself lived out these tensions in his own life: wishing to be a wondering hermit, he founded a monastery based on stability and community; despite shunning all honours and rank, he was appointed Archbishop of Magdeburg and Chancellor of the Holy Roman Emperor, Lothair II. Life is often complex and our Order’s spirituality suits those who seek to explore and grow in various expressions of traditional Catholic religious life.
The Order of Prémontré is also the progenitor of the lay movement of “Third Orders”, being the first to have established one, which was originally called the “Fratres et Sorores ad Succurrendum.” For more information on our Third Order please click here.
To find out more about our Order’s spirituality, as well as the Third Order, and prayers and devotions of the Order, please see the Manual of the Third Order (1889), and the current constitutions of the Third Order in Chelmsford. A modern translation of the Order's Spiritual Directory (1959) has also been completed by Rev Theodore Antry o.praem., of Daylesford Abbey, and is an invaluable resource.
If you would like to make a Novena to St. Norbert, please download our booklet containing prayers and meditations of the Novena used and approved by our Canonry. The Litany of St Norbert is also used by the Canons during the novena, and at other times of the year.
Both these booklets also contain prayers to St. Norbert and the Litany of St. Norbert.