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.


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