Who cannot become a monk?
Become a monk: from novice to monk for life
The minimum age to enter the monastery is 18 years. First of all, the candidate learns about religious life and its requirements for a few months. The abbot decides on admission with the consent of his council. The novice is dressed in the white habit at a ceremony in the chapter house. Now it is also given a new name: a new life for God begins. The novitiate lasts a full year. However, if the novice realizes this year that monastic life as a monk is not his way, he can break it off at any time.
Novitiate - one year
The novices are looked after by a novice master who, with the help of other monks, teaches them about prayer, liturgy, psalms, the history of the order and the monastery, the Benedictine Rule and the spirituality of the Cistercians. The novices learn to break away from old relationships and begin to follow the path of following Christ. Towards the end of the novitiate, the chapter votes on the approval of the novice to take temporal vows. If the novice is accepted, he promises obedience, a monastic way of life and continuity in the community before the abbot and the convent.
Temporary profession lasts three years, but can be extended. During this time the budding monk, who is now called "junior", receives a theological training in the study of theology or a professional training. Even during temporary profession, the junior can decide against the monastery life and apply to leave the order.
If a prospective monk has gained certainty about his vocation after four years (one year novitiate and three years of temporary profession), he can ask for perpetual vows, the solemn profession. Here, too, votes are taken in the Convention.
Solemn profession - forever
The solemn profession is made in a festive divine service led by the abbot, as it is equivalent to a marriage with God: the monk vows to God and his saints obedience, monastic life and constancy until death. With the solemn profession, the monk is now a full member of the convent - with all duties and rights. The monk is addressed as a "Frater", if he has also received the ordination, the official name is "Father". The name is followed by the abbreviation OCist, which means ordo Cisterciensis in Latin.
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