The Lay Society of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (LSSGS) or Lay Gilbertines, are the lay associates of the
Order of Sempringham of the Primitive Observance (O.Semp.P.O.).
New religious communities
begin as their own 'third orders'/lay associates.
The LSSGS receives monthly instruction
on the history of the Gilbertines. At the end of the year, they will be encouraged to wear some form of identification,
whether it be black and white clothing for those wishing a "third order" commitment, or a simple medallion of St. Andrew.
Those interested in the Gilbertines as a vowed religious commitment are required to be a Lay Gilbertine
first. The year's formation will assist with understanding their religious vocation.
The formation covers the history of the Order of Sempringham, and other pertienent subjects--such
as the Suppression of the Monasteries.
The formation cycle begins in January.
The Lay Gilbertines follow the Cloister Outreach Affiliated New Foundations' protocol of having four
tiers of membership.
The First Tier is for non-Catholics; Catholic priests and religious of other orders; and Catholic third
order/oblates. These are permitted to wear a distinctive pin or medallion.
The Second Tier is for those wishing to make the Lay Gilbertines their way of life. Distinctive
garb may be worn.
The Third Tier is for the deepening of the Second Tier commitment--a possible secular institute; consecrated
virgins; or canonical hermits.
The Fourth Tier is for those in the preparatory associations. Such would include groups of men or
women who share living quarters with the intention of bringing forth a new religious institute to life, or those intending
to become diocesan hermits.
Fourth Tier/preparatory association members will come from the first three tiers. Secular Institute
members and canonical hermits can be released from their vows. Consecrated Virgins can become nuns, although doing so is
usually discouraged. As said above, all Gilbertine religious will be required to be Lay Gilbertines first.