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1 The Oratory of St Philip Neri is a congregation of secular priests living in community without vows, approved in 1575. The name derives from the oratory of S. Girolamo, Rome, where they held their ‘Exercises’. Their chief task is to lead people to God through prayer, preaching, and the sacraments. They lay stress on attractive services, especially on good music; the modern oratorio grew out of the laudi spirituali sung in their devotional exercises. They were introduced into England by J. H. Newman in 1848.

2 The French Oratory was founded in 1611 by P. de Bérulle. Though formed on the Italian model, it differs mainly in that it is a centralized organization. One of its chief activities is the training of priests in seminaries run on the lines laid down by the Council of Trent. Dissolved in the French Revolution, the Oratory was re-established in 1852.

Subjects: Christianity.

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