June 2017 – Oklahoma Province OCDS
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Public use of the Large Ceremonial Scapular

2016 Statutes section VI.3:

“In addition to regular OCDS meetings, the ceremonial scapular may be worn when participating as a group at gatherings and events approved by the local Council.  The ceremonial scapular is not worn publicly by OCDS members at other times, nor in an individual capacity.”

  • Normally, these “gatherings and events” would be Church-sponsored functions and liturgical celebrations that the Carmelite community has been invited to participate in.
  • “Participating as a group” means that the community has been invited as a community, and as many members attend as are able.
  • “Participating as a group” may also mean that the local Council is sending a number of members to represent the OCDS Community.


Other considerations

The local Council has the authority to allow/request the members to wear the large scapular to an event where the Council believes a visible OCDS presence would be appropriate and useful.

The Council should seriously consider what their purpose is in having the members wear the large scapular publicly.


  • Wearing the large scapular at a parish Mass should be limited to attending as a community on a Carmelite feast day or regular meeting day.
  • It is expected that members will wear the large scapular to the wake and funeral or memorial Mass of a deceased member.
  • It is common to wear the scapular to the community Christmas gathering, if this is held during the time of the regular monthly meeting. Or if it is a celebration shared with other communities, which makes it an “OCDS event.”
  • It is not usual to wear the scapular to a Mass offered for the community’s deceased members, unless the members intend to sit together.
  • It is not usual to wear the scapular at “fellowship” activities, especially if attendance is not required. (movie nights, picnics, potlucks, outings)

Members may not simply decide on their own to wear the large scapular, whether attending an event together or as an individual.  This would be against the Promise of obedience.

The only exception to an individual OCDS not wearing the large scapular in public is if the superiors (local or provincial) have been asked to send a member to represent the community, the province, or the Order at a function, and the superiors have asked the member to wear the scapular as a sign of his/her OCDS identity.