Oblates are members of Pluscarden Abbey's wider family: lay people or secular priests living normal lives in the world outside the walls of the monastic enclosure, each according to his or her own vocation.
Oblates are lay Benedictines: that is, people who strive to live according to the spirit of the Rule of St. Benedict, and of the particular monastery to which they are affiliated. Becoming an oblate is one way, freely chosen, of expressing a person's commitment to follow Christ whole-heartedly.
Oblates enjoy the sense of living in close union with a praying monastic community, and of sharing the great Benedictine tradition. Without being bound by a specific promise, they usually undertake to pray some part at least of the Divine Office each day, in so far as they are able; to nourish their faith with regular spiritual reading, especially of Holy Scripture; consciously to serve God in and through their work and other ordinary occupations; to pray daily for the Pluscarden monks and for each other. Some oblates meet together regularly for prayer and reflection, though this is not an essential requirement of being an oblate.
The monastery seeks to help the oblates live out their commitment to conversion of life according to the spirit of the Gospel and of the Holy Rule. The chief way this is done is through prayer. There is also a regular Letter sent from the monastery to the Oblates. This is written by the monk, appointed by Fr. Abbot, known as the Oblate Master. The current series of letters, begun in 1997, is displayed in the letter archive. In addition, oblates who can are encouraged to make individual retreats at the monastery.
In order to become an oblate, a person will normally need to visit the monastery several times, and to undertake a period of probation lasting at least a year. Detailed information on this and other aspects of the Pluscarden oblates is given in the Statutes.