Spirituality of L’Arche

L’Arche is in the process of constant development, but it’s spirit of love to the weakers stays the same.

(Jean Vanier)

L’Arche communities are communities of faith, rooted in prayer and trust in God. The spirituality of L’Arche is grounded in the belief that each person is unique and of sacred value, and that we experience God’s love through mutual friendships in which the gifts and weaknesses of each person are recognized and accepted.

Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, through their own vulnerability, often have a special gift for touching our hearts. They invite us into relationship and into revealing our humanness.

L’Arche was founded in France in the Roman Catholic tradition. Today, the communities of L’Arche around the world are of different religious traditions, often inter-denominationally Christian and some are inter-religious. L’Arche Kovche community in Ukraine is based in the Greek Catholic tradition, the predominant faith tradition in western Ukraine. All L’Arche communities welcome people of any faith, and respect and support its members in deepening their spiritual lives within their religious affiliation.

Every day workshop programs start and finish with a prayer. Besides this we have other opportunities to share our spiritual life – common liturgies, a ritual of washing feet in Holy Thursday, Forgiving day, when we ask each other to forgive offences or simply bless with full acceptance of another person. We have a special Thanks giving Liturgy at the end of the year, when we thank God and each other for all the moments of life together and the gift of the year lived together.

l’Arche Prayer

O Father, we ask You to bless us,

And keep us in Your love,

May L’Arche be a true home,

Where the poor in spirit may find life;

A place where those who are suffering,

May find comfort and peace,

Lord, give us hearts that are open,

Hearts that are humble and gentle,

So we may welcome those you send,

With tenderness and compassion,

Give us hearts full of mercy,

That we may love and serve;

And where discord is found,

May we be able to heal and bring peace,

And see in the one who is suffering,

The living presence of your Son.

Lord, through the life we are sharing,

We ask you to bless us.

Through the eyes of those who are rejected,

We ask you to smile on us.

Lord, grant freedom and fellowship,

And unity to all the world;

And on the day of Your coming,

Welcome all people into Your Kingdom.

Amen.