Following the tonsure of two monks into the lesser schema. Bishop Luke of Syracuse with Hieromonk Spyridon and Monk Mardarije

The Prayer of a Righteous Man: An Exhortation to Newly-tonsured Monks

On March 26, 2022 (o.s.), the eve of the feast of the Lau­da­tion of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Fifth Sat­ur­day of Great Lent, the abbot of Hoy Trin­i­ty Monastery Bish­op Luke of Syra­cuse ton­sured two monas­tics into the less­er schema. A full report of the occa­sion may be found at the monastery’s web­site. Fol­low­ing the ton­sures, Bish­op Luke greet­ed the new monks with this brief exhortation:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Hieromonk Spyridon and Monk Mardarije during their tonsure into the lesser schema.
The new­ly-ton­sured monks are ful­ly vest­ed in the monas­tic schema and hold a cross and can­dle sig­ni­fy­ing their new life.

Dear Broth­ers in Christ, I con­grat­u­late you on your inclu­sion in the glo­ri­ous ranks of war­riors for the sake of our Lord and Sav­iour Jesus Christ and His king­dom! We, togeth­er with you, are in the king­dom of dark­ness in this world. It is of the utmost sig­nif­i­cance and impor­tance to gath­er more and more of those like you, who give these promis­es, who are will­ing to strug­gle in the very bat­tle­ment, the army of Christ Him­self, against the spir­its of the air, the evil spir­its, the lures of this world, and the temp­ta­tions of the flesh.

It is of no lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance that two of you have come today to be ton­sured into the less­er schema and to begin a life of prayer, fast­ing, and obe­di­ence. For every one on this plan­et that ful­fills these rules, these obe­di­ences, these vows that you have giv­en tonight, and hope­ful­ly with God’s help will con­tin­ue to ful­fill them, every one, no mat­ter how small our num­ber is in this world, has a great sig­nif­i­cance in the out­come of every day of our lives.

We know from the Holy Spir­it and the Scrip­tures that the prayers of even one right­eous man can save the entire plan­et. So there­fore, with no exag­ger­a­tion, we greet you with great joy and hope that, as you stand here dressed in black, the invis­i­ble — though vis­i­ble to some — radi­ance of the Holy Spir­it shines around you and by your prayers, by your works will go out through­out the world, first for the sal­va­tion of your own souls, and as much as is pos­si­ble to uplift the world and the peo­ple around us giv­en in obe­di­ence, what­ev­er that might be, in order to fur­ther the King­dom of heav­en and to push fur­ther from us the king­dom of darkness.

God strength­en you and help you. Remem­ber always to be hum­ble and meek, even though the call­ing is very great, exceed­ing­ly great. Yet, our Lord iden­ti­fies Him­self as meek and hum­ble of heart, though He holds all of cre­ation in His hand. Remem­ber this! God strength­en you in your strug­gles, begin­ning tonight, and may He crown you at the end of your life with the crown of glo­ry in His eter­nal Kingdom.

Congratulations, fathers, and God bless you.

The above text was tran­scribed from audio and light­ly edit­ed for read­abil­i­ty and to fit our edi­to­r­i­al style.

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