Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre have a deep love for the Holy Land that pushes them to actively support Christians in that land, so they may secure a livelihood, to pray for them and also to offer hope for a life of peace. There are many ways to join in prayer with this particular intention and the Lieutenancy for Austria under the leadership of Andreas Leiner, Lieutenant, has come up with one way to help members gather in prayer notwithstanding physical distances...
In 2016 the Austrian Lieutenancy was looking for new ways to stimulate the spiritual life of our community. The aim was to create a “spiritual place”, in which members could meet regularly to share the charisma of the Order in a collective prayer.
Every Friday at 3 pm, the hour of death of Our Lord, we want to strengthen our spiritual roots by praying together, each in his or her own place. We begin with paying tribute to the Saint or the feast of the day. We pray the psalm of the Mid-afternoon prayer or Evening prayer and thus connect to the Church in the whole world. A short reflection makes us stop. The following remembrance in prayer is dedicated to a special intention. We finish the “common time of prayer” with the prayer of our Order. Those who wish can also read God’s Word in the readings of the day (the readings and the Gospel of that very day).
The varying texts (reflection and remembrance in prayer) are provided by the local Delegations in turn, so that the ”Common Time of Prayer“ indeed grows into a spiritual common act of the Lieutenancy.
As a reminder all members receive an email Friday morning, which invites them to the “Collective Time of Prayer”. In order to make the “Collective Time of Prayer” more easily available, a web app was created that the members can install on their smartphones. The “Collective Time of Prayer” can also be obtained via the website of the Lieutenancy www.oessh.at.
The most important goal was reached in 2017: the members of the Order should actively take part in building this spiritual house and this happens because each month it is the task of a different Delegation of the Lieutenancy to produce the reflection and prayer intention of the “Collective Time of Prayer”. A team of editors receive the original texts for the reflection and prayer intention from the assigned Delegation and takes care about the other regular text parts (the words of the Script, psalms and the prayer of the None and the Vespers as basis) and the feasts of Saints and upload that on the app so that everyone can easily find that for the Friday prayer.
The initiators hope that the “Collective Time of Prayer” will be the beginning of a shared “spiritual house” with many rooms.
Adviser, Council of the Austrian Lieutenancy