Communion is at the very core of all that takes place at the Oratory. The daily celebration of the Eucharist, the coming together as one community and the importance that is attributed in celebrating liturgical feasts and important feast days in the liturgical calendar, is the spring of living water that all who come receive. Formation of the word and preparation to observe important seasons especially Advent and Lent and the culmination of the celebration of Christmas and Easter are central to every pastoral programme. Particularly the coming together at the early start of day for morning prayers in Advent and Lent gives every person the opportunity to come to realize the journey of preparation. This is further sustained through the importance given to the celebration of the Saturday evening and Sunday morning Liturgy.
One of the Oratory’s main missions is that of bringing the word closely to those who frequent the place and follow the pastoral programme. Though the majority of people attending the Oratory form part of the Lay communities that are part and parcel of the Oratory itself, the focus on providing formation goes beyond. The variety of opportunities caters for those who are still searching and curious to come closer to their faith journey at the same time opportunities for those in community to deepen further their experience. In following and living closely the liturgical year, central to the Oratory are the start of the holy seasons of Advent and Lent. A half day retreat is held at the beginning of these important seasons. Catechesis on the word of God is held once a month – throughout the years the topics have varied in such a way to provide a deeper and holistic understanding of key books, topics and characters in the Bible.
Moved by the conviction that the Word of God is essential for any Christian who wants to take his faith seriously, we have made an invitation to all those coming regularly to the liturgy but do not make part of a community, to join a small number of people like them, in order to pray through the Word of God. These groups (usually made up of a maximum of 10 people) meet once a month and make a personal commitment to start letting the Word of God influence and empower their lives. These groups are led by other lay people who are members of communities present at the Oratory, who have been praying through Lectio Divina for a number of years in their respective communities.
Besides the bigger liturgical space where the everyday Eucharist is celebrated, the Oratory provides quiet and smaller sacred spaces for recollection and prayer. Their availability is open to the various communities attending the Oratory and others who attend the place and know they will find a space for reflection. Two chapels are made available – one which is found in the living quarters of the MSSP Community and another in the cloister which in itself, the outside ambience offers a quiet space cut off from the busyness and noises we are surrounded by. The aim to host these smaller sacred spaces is to offer a simple yet beautiful environment, to continuously remind ourselves of the centrality the Lord must have in everything we do and live as committed Christians here at the Oratory.
Extensive refurbishment has been carried out in order to create new spaces which can be used both from the people who regularly attend the Oratory, whilst at the same time to serve as facilities for day retreats and conferences which are so commonly sought after in Malta. A lot of time, effort and dedication from a number of volunteers from the different Oratory communities has enabled this to happen. Not only, but through their dedicated service and voluntary presence, the lay members offer assistance and help when a half or full day retreat or conference will be underway. Every effort is done in order to provide a welcoming and hospitable environment.