What is a ’canon’?
- a common life united in charity, where each member gives up his property so as to serve God and his brethren in the community more freely.
- a life of liturgical prayer, singing the psalms in the Divine Office, and the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass.
- a life of mission, made fruitful by this prayer and strengthened by the total gift of the self which is permitted by living in community, in charity and poverty.
Pope John Paul II recalled this very ancient duty when he addressed the worldwide association of Canons Regular in 1984: “As canons, you have a special responsibility for the solemn worship of the Church, consisting principally in the sung celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and of the Eucharist, remembering that the liturgy is at one and the same time the summit towards which the action of the Church aims and the source from which her strength flows.”
Charged with praying the official Prayer of the Church, Canons Regular see in it the inexhaustible and powerful source of their own prayer, of their contemplation and of their mission.