Introduction to the Rule for the Third Order of Carmel

While all Carmelites look to the Rule of Saint Albert as their foundation document, there is a separate document called the Rule for the Third Order of Carmel (RTOC). In the 1630's, the Carmelite Prior General decided to follow the model of the Franciscan Third Order and compose a separate Rule specifically for members of the Third Order. This Rule was amended on a number of occasions to mirror the changing spirit of the time. The latest Rule (RTOC, 2003) emphasises the call to holiness, the place of the Third Order members within the Carmelite family, contemplation, prayer, community and service. The Prior General, Fr. Joseph Chambers O.Carm., oversaw the writing of RTOC 2003. He stated that the document could be perceived as a set of Constitutions, since all Carmelites look to the Rule of Saint Albert as their primary text. [cf. Climbing the Mountain p. 147]

To view the Carmelite Rule, click here.

To view the Rule of the Third Order of Carmelites, click here.