Monastic tonsure service

Learn from the Lord: An Exhortation to Newly-tonsured Monks

On the eve of June 28th, 2016 (o.s.), the feast of the Holy Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman of Valaam, the abbot of Hoy Trinity Monastery Archimandrite Luke tonsured a monk into the lesser schema and a novice into the rank of rassaphore monk. A full report of the occasion may be found at the monastery’s website. Following the tonsures, Fr Luke greeted the new monks with this short exhortation:

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

Newly tonsured Monk Paul and Rassaphore Monk Stephen congratulate each other after the service.
Newly tonsured Monk Paul and Rassaphore Monk Stephen greet each other after the service.

With all my heart I congratulate you fathers on receiving the grace of your tonsures this evening. But as we heard, the Lord warns us that it is not the way you begin but the way that you end that is important. In the world we live in today we hear much of dependency, co-dependency, interdependency, and sometimes just plain independence. But for us monastics, for us Orthodox Christians we can only be dependent. We have to be totally — in mind, in heart, in soul — dependent on our Lord and Saviour, His Most Holy Mother, and all the saints. You have been given the grace this evening to draw closer to God, closer to the heavenly kingdom. May you use this grace wisely!

Learn from the Lord, who himself said, I am meek and lowly in heart.1 The Lord did not come to judge the world but to save the world. Learn meekness, humility, and obedience, and first and foremost prayer — the attendance of the divine services and your prayer at home. As we know from the Holy Apostle James, if we are called to be perfect, he says, the perfect man is the one who has learned to bridle his tongue.2 Abide in prayer and control your passions and in this way, with God’s help, you will enter into His holy kingdom.



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


Did you find this article edifying? Please help us create similar content by becoming a Patron: