Ask your Rector or Acolyte Warden if there is an O.S.V. chapter at your parish. If there is, either of them can handle the membership for you. If not, write or call the O.S.V. office for membership applications and a chapter start-up kit. We’ll be glad to help you. Applications can also be printed from this website further down on this page.
Every aspirant to the Order, including adult leaders and trainers, must have performed in a lay-ministerial capacity for at least six months, demonstrating a desire to serve with knowledge, responsibility and diligence prior to admittance to the Order. Aspirants must understand and be willing to live by The Rules of the Order and strive to support it’s The Purpose and The Objects of the Order. Each application for membership must include a statement of sponsorship by the aspirant’s rector, vicar or chaplain.
First-year initiation fees are required of new members to cover the cost of administration, the O.S.V. medallions, the frame able parchment membership certificate and I.D. card/tag. Every member also pays annual oblation. Junior Members (under age 18) pay a reduced dues rate. Clergy and supporting Associate non-voting memberships are available, but these members are not entitled to wear the OSV medallion. We reduce, and sometimes eliminate, the annual oblation requirements for candidates whose financial need is verified by the Chapter Chaplain on the membership application.
Individual membership costs are as follow:
- $20.00 for Initial application fee (one time only) plus annual oblation which are:
- $20.00 for Adult Members (who receive a bronze medallion),
- $5.00 for Junior Members (under 18 yrs) (who also receive a bronze medallion),
- $20.00 for Clergy and supporting Member (who do not receives a medallion),
- $150.00 for Life Member who receive a gold-alloy medallion,
Chapters with Junior Members may elect to purchase at $20.00 each a quantity of bronze medallions to be used in common by their Junior Members. If this option is chosen by a chapter, the individual initial application fee is not required; however, when a member reaches 16 years either the member or the chapter must purchase the individual medallion. (The OSV office suggests that the chapter purchase the medallion and present it as an award for faithful service; however, either way we will gladly provide a new certificate showing that the individual is now a Full Member.)
To join, print the membership application, fill it out completely, and send it to the O.S.V. office with appropriate fees. We’d be delighted to tell you how the O.S.V. can fit into your life and your parish.
An O.S.V. chapter may be formed with three or more members with the spiritual guidance of an ordained chaplain. All chapter leaders must be a adult member of the O.S.V. Initial chapter fees or or reinstatement chapter fees are $35.00. Click here to print out a Charter Application.
If a chapter cannot be formed by virtue of lack of members, an individual member will be enrolled in the Director General’s chapter of the Order. The Order encourages members to pay at least part of their fees since the tendency of parishes paying all of the fees for members erodes personal responsibility and reduces a member’s sense of commitment and investment.
International members are requested to use the following PayPal interface to submit their fees.
The Benefits of the Order
As with any similar order, the principle benefit obtained is a closer relationship between the individual and our Lord and Savior. This relationship is strengthened through obedience to the Rules of the Order and by adhering to the Order’s Purpose and Objects. Recognizing that it is easier to live by a set of rules when you are surrounded by others trying to follow the same rules, we encourage members to form chapters with mentoring and fellowship being added benefits.
All lay members receive a St. Vincent medallion, a frame able membership certificate and I.D. card/tag, and is inducted into the historic International Order of St. Vincent. Candidates must have completed a six-month probationary period, understand the Rules and Objects of the Order, pay required fees and take the Order’s vows. Every member who is current is entitled to wear the official medallion of the O.S.V.. Your O.S.V. medallion tells everyone that you are a very special lay minister.
Members receive a free copy of the Serving Basics manual as well as discounts on all other O.S.V. publications and products. All members can contribute to O.S.V.’s The Banner, the Order’s official online newsletter Its intention is to contain upcoming containing upcoming Events, General news and Chapter news, articles pertaining to conferences held, and coming events as well as items of interest to members. Members or Chapters can contribute articles, photos, serving tips and humor to this publication by e-mail.
Members can visit and utilize the Order’s website by downloading printable pages. There is also a question/answer service via e-mail for (Ask Fr. Figpenny) for anyone interested in questions concerning liturgy. You can also check the listed sites for many interesting and educational links. The site is updated and expanded regularly to meet the needs of members, chapters, and visitors. We hope soon to have a downloadable library of tracts and other documents that we feel will be of interest to members.
We bond with other servers world-wide through declarations of unity with the Scottish Guild of Servers, and the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary (England) and the English Guild of Vergers. We also hope to form affiliations and build bridges with other lay servers’ guilds and associations of other ecclesiastical jurisdictions as well. If you learn of an association not mentioned, please let the OSV office know of it.
You can take advantage of educational opportunities and materials available through the Order to broaden your liturgical knowledge, deepen your traditional understanding and sense of historical connection, and sharpen your serving skills. We joyfully train and practice to become the very best we can be for the Glory of God in his sanctuary and the pleasure of His clergy and congregations. We foster mentorship between members of various ages and experiences…members helping, teaching, and providing example and leadership to other members. Your membership supports continuing liturgical research that results in new historical and instructional publications, the production of comprehensive illustrations and diagrams, the development of teaching materials and systems which promote liturgical unity and consistency.
We encourage camaraderie and friendship among the Chapter members and association with other Chapters at the diocesan and national level through Lay Ministry (or acolyte) festivals, deanery-level training events, and parish or diocesan gatherings.
Your membership supports a translation ministry involving the efforts of bilingual parishes so O.S.V. materials can reach a broader spectrum of God’s family. Most of these publications are given freely to Hispanic churches throughout North and Central America and the Caribbean.
We pray for (and are prayed for by) others of the Order and for the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Every Chapter receives a frame able Charter and the O.S.V. Chapter Manual which includes other guidelines and suggestions for establishing and maintaining an effective guild of lay ministers. Every Chapter is also entitled to carry an O.S.V. banner (estimated cost will be provided at the time of a request to the Order), use O.S.V. letterhead, apply the medallion to its printed material, and participate in O.S.V. events. All Chapters receive a package of reproducible O.S.V. logos and graphics for their own use.