THE BENEDICTINE EUCHARISTIC GUILD

For well over a thousand years, Christians have turned to monasteries seeking the solace that comes from knowing that the monks will take them into their prayer and present their needs to God.  The ordinary Christian of the Middle Ages saw the monk as a man wholly dedicated to prayer on behalf of all and for all.

Monasteries were seen as an indispensable part of society.  The ploughman plowing his field, the mother nursing her child, and the tradesmen labouring long hours took comfort in knowing that, by day and by night, monks were going about a ceaseless round of prayer.

Christian layfolk understood that the generous support of monasteries benefited everyone, for they believed in the Communion of the Saints, that is, in the exchange of the spiritual goods obtained by prayer for the living and the dead.

A Response to Your Requests

The Benedictine Eucharistic Guild was established in response to an ever-increasing number of requests for intercessory prayer and remembrance in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. From the very beginning of life at Silverstream Priory, people have come to entrust to our prayer their cares, their needs, and their sufferings, so that we, in turn, might entrust them to God.

“Benedictine”

The Guild is, first of all, Benedictine, because its heart is a monastery where men live by the Rule that Saint Benedict wrote over fifteen centuries ago. Saint Benedict himself, and all the saints enrolled in his school of the Lord’s service down through the ages, will surely assist with their prayers those who support a new Benedictine endeavour today.

The Guild is also Benedictine (from the Latin benedicere, meaning "to bless") because its primary objective is to obtain the blessings of God upon all its members, both living and deceased, and to bless God — that is to praise and thank Him — in return.

“Eucharistic”

The Guild is Eucharistic because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the wellspring and summit of the whole Christian life. The members of the Guild and their needs are brought to the altar in two special Masses weekly: one offered for the living members, and other offered for the departed. The Guild is also Eucharistic because the monks of Silverstream Priory are dedicated to adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The radiance of this daily adoration shines beyond the walls of the monastery, bringing light and warmth to souls in need.

The monks of Silverstream Priory enter into a contractual relationship with the members of the Guild: they agree to remember them weekly in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered especially for their intentions, as well as in the daily celebration of the Divine Office, in Eucharistic Adoration, and in their other prayers. To this end, the names of the living and deceased members of the Guild are inscribed in a book set aside for this purpose.

A beautifully designed card, signed by one of the priests of the Priory, is available from the monastery whenever a person, living or deceased, is enrolled in the Benedictine Eucharistic Guild. We are happy to make a small supply of cards available to those who desire to make use of them.

Enrollment Card for Living Members of the Benedictine Eucharistic Guild (cover & inside)

Enrollment Card for Living Members of the Benedictine Eucharistic Guild (cover & inside)

Enrolment Card for Departed Members of the Benedictine Eucharistic Guild (cover & inside)

Enrolment Card for Departed Members of the Benedictine Eucharistic Guild (cover & inside)

Intercessory Prayer for the Living & the Dead

The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains an enlightening section on intercessory prayer:

2634 Intercession is a prayer of petition, which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners. (Romans 8:34) He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25) The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us . . . and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom. 8:26–27)

2635 Since Abraham, intercession – asking on behalf of another has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an expression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” even to the point of praying for those who do him harm. (Phil. 2:4)

The prayer of intercession encompasses not only the living and their present needs, but also the souls of the faithful departed undergoing purification, so as to enter the joys of heaven, cleansed and sanctified.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also addresses the question of prayer for the dead:

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. the tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come. (St Gregory the Great, Dialogues 4, 39)

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore Judas Maccabeus made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. (2 Maccabees 12:46) From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them. (St John Chrysostom, Homily on 1 Cor. 41, 5)

How to Enroll Friends & Loved Ones into the Guild

Enrolling someone into the Benedictine Eucharistic Guild is simple.  Just send us the names of those you would like to be remembered at Holy Mass and submit your donation and mailing address in one of the following ways, and you will receive signed Mass Cards.

The suggested donation for enrolling a member in the Guild is €10. Again, the amount is only suggested; please give what you able.  Your generous donation will help the monks of Silverstream purchase and renovate their new monastic home in Ireland.  May God reward you richly!

Those living nearby in Ireland are welcome to come by the Gatehouse Bookstore at the Priory and fill out an enrolment card.

To enrol members online, please follow this link to Paypal, where you can provide us with your mailing address, your donation, and the full names (Christian / baptismal names being preferred to nicknames) of those you would like to enroll in the special field provided.  Please place a plus sign (+) before the name of each departed person.

If you prefer to use regular mail, you can send us the names of those who you would like to enrol, your mailing address, and your donation to this address:

Benedictine Eucharistic Guild
Silverstream Priory
Stamullen
County Meath
Ireland

If you’re using regular mail, please feel free to download, print out and fill in these enrolment cards, one for living members and one for departed members. Otherwise, please indicate the departed by writing a small cross before the name.

If you have any questions about the Guild, please feel free to contact us here:

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