Very briefly, a “nun” is a woman who has discerned a call to live within an abbey, a monastery, or priory, as a contemplative religious. The novitiate in many communities includes a concentrated program of prayer, study, reflection and limited ministerial engagement. The novice must complete a postulancy before being admitted to the novitiate, the duration of which can be short or extend up to three years. Father: To serve God in the religious state means to die to one’s self and to live for God alone. The stage of postulancy begins when the aspirant, having received acceptance into the community, lives in the monastery and follows the life of the community. After professing their vows, the novices invoke the help of God singing, with hands raised in supplication. There are four stages of formation: During this first period of formation, while the candidate lives outside of the monastery, she has contact with community and visits the community for various lengths of time. At the novice's clothing ceremony: Before donning th… The belt is symbolic of obedience and purity of heart. https://monasterygarments.blogspot.com/p/nuns-monastic-habits.html The Novice then reads the formula of her vows before the abbess and all assembled. A word of warning: There are a million differentials between religious orders and communities, so this is a very basic and general overview. "O God, you made us aware that our hearts cannot be satisfied with earthly goods, and cannot find peace except in you. " As with any profession, formation is ongoing and lifelong. There will always be exceptions to something written here. These visits may even include a "live-in" experience in which she is allowed to enter the cloister and experience our life more intimately. Each piece of the habit has a special significance. A postulant is someone who has formally moved in and begun to learn to live in community while remaining in the “asking” stage — a period of more intense discernment. She receives a white veil to indicate that she has not yet professed vows. We beseech you, be gracious to your handmaid, who for the sake of your love, lays down the adornment of her head." More to read: Byzantine communities are similar, but different. She is then presented the full length scapular: "Receive the yoke of the Lord and carry his burden which is sweet and light." Upon presenting the novice the black veil, the Abbess says, "Receive, Sister, the veil of your holy profession. There are both male and female religious, and therefore some of these stages exist for both, but since the questioner was focused on women, we will be, too. Prayer to entrust the United States to God's ... 8 Ways to honor the Holy Souls this November. The novitiate — usually (but not always) two years for women and one year for men — begins a time of intense formation, study and a deepening experience of prayer and will include both canonical and apostolic formation. The novice should aspire to deepening his or her relationship to God and discovering the community's charism. These sisters consider the habit of the nun to be indicative of the nun’s particular calling to “marry” herself to Christ and live a life of celibacy.
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