The Archbishop's Guard of St. Sebastian
The Archbishop's Guard of St. Sebastian - An Order of Chivalry within the Spanish Orthodox Church and Ecumenical Apostolic Chaplain Service. A brief look at Religious Military Orders, History, Admission, and The Cadet Corps.
An Order of Chivalry within the
Spanish Orthodox Church and
Ecumenical Apostolic Chaplain Service
Religious Military Orders
There is a long tradition of religious military orders, seen today in organizations which maintain a military type of structure, such as the Church Army (Anglican), and others such as the Order of Malta (Roman Catholic). With functions that range from evangelism to charitable works, they build on the bedrock of their faith to perform invaluable community services at home as well as in other countries in times of war, famine, or natural disaster.
The Archbishop's Guard began as an ecumenical entity to promote conservative Christian values. Originally, it was conceived as the Conservative Christian Corps, in which members would receive a military-style rank in the manner of the well-known Papal Swiss Guard. It also had provision for assisting the Christian Cadets, an outreach program planned for future implementation among young people (see below). The motto, Dominus Illuminatio Mea, is the opening of Psalm 27 and means, The Lord is my Light.
In August of 2011, the Guard was converted, by Episcopal decree, to a religious military order of chivalry for the third order, to honor the great saint and martyr, Sebastian. Sometimes referred to as the soldiers' saint, or the Patron Saint of the 'Grunts', Sebastian, himself a member of the Roman army, was cruelly martyred in Rome in 288. The date, 20th January, became the Feast day of St Sebastian.
Membership is open to women and men anywhere who hold the traditional Christian faith and values and feel called to benevolent or charitable service and a life of prayer. The first step to membership is to contact us and tell us briefly about yourself, your faith, and your aspirations. We have a PDF information file (see below), which will explain the vows required of members and how to apply for admission to the order.
The first level of membership is that of Companion, for a period of three to six months prior to taking the final vows to become a Knight (male) or Dame (female) of the order. Those who choose not to take that step may remain as Companions. There are three principal ranks beyond Knight or Dame: Lieutenant, Captain, and Colonel. The ranks of General and Knight Commander are administrative positions within an International Council that oversees the Guard.
The Cadet Corps
The Cadet Corps of the Archbishop's Guard is an outreach program to encourage e-mail or postal contact between young people, aged 12 to 17, in different countries, with the aims of breaking down barriers and stereotypes, and encouraging mutual understanding. Provision exists for involvement at the parish or community level in such charity work as visiting the elderly or providing companionship for sick or disabled children. Members must have the consent of their parents and local clergy. Parents should contact us by e-mail for further information.