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#314779 03/09/09 03:07 PM
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I would like to hear more about their Monastic Associates program. It looks very interesting!

St. Philip Associates [hrmonline.org]

I note this part of the rite of reception:

Quote
Then the Abbot or Priest tonsures the candidate(s), saying nothing, and gives to the him (them), in addition to the prayer rope, the Riassa, leather Belt and Kalimavka, saying nothing, and then the Dismissal.


What is the expectation for the associates for wearing these items? Also, is there a Typicon that has been created for them?

God bless!

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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Fr Deacon D.

The part you quoted is in fact to be used for a Celibate Cleric .

Laity receive a prayer rope

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What about a married cleric?

sbdn Jon

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Originally Posted by Athanasius
What about a married cleric?

sbdn Jon

I would think that it would not be appropriate for a married cleric to wear monastic garb...except, perhaps, in burial if they are a Monastic Associate.

I have often wondered about the use of a smaller schema (in the style of a scapular) for Monastic Associates.

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A provisional Typikon has been written, "ad experimentum" as it were. It is on our website, though admittedly a bit difficult to find (must fix that!) HRM Associates provisional Typikon [hrmonline.org].

There is a difference in how celibate clergy are received, reflecting the fact that, in addition to supporting them in the ascetic life as is the case for all our associates, we also want to offer celibate priests a degree of community, a sense of "belonging" in a spiritual way (not canonically, of course) to a wider family of supportive prayer partners.

In the Orthodox Church, of course, most unmarried men who are ordained to the diaconate and beyond are also tonsured monks and are enrolled in a particular monastery as a member of the brotherhood. In the Catholic Church our canonical economy does not easily permit this kind of loose, "idiorhythmic" monasticism. In designing our program for clerics we have tried to take what is best in the Orthodox approach, and apply it as far as possible to the way things work in the Catholic Church. Basically our celibate clerical associates accept the moral and spiritual task of living as "monastically" as possible, obedient to their own hierarchs, while receiving from their brothers in the monastery a place of community, retreat and prayerful support.

We have Bishop John Michael as our first associate. In addition to him, a couple of Melkite priest friends asked Archbishop Cyril's blessing to join, a blessing that was given very cordially. We do give some outward symbols of monastic profession to these clergy as part of the ritual of reception. These are the parts of the monastic habit given to Riassaphore monks: in addition to the monastic tunic and riassa the leather belt, kalymavchion and epi-kalymavchion. Whether the clergy will actually wear these publically will be a matter for them and their bishops.

One of the reasons for providing a probationary "novitiate" for all our associates is that we really only want to have people who are serious about taking on the obligations it entails. We don't want people who just want to "play monk"!

I should also point out that we also have some married clergy associates, as well as a couple dozen lay associates now. Calling it a "program" is a bit grand, but we are certainly doing our best to help people live out their baptismal vocation in spiritual solidarity with our communities of monks (HRM) and nuns (Holy Theophany in Olympia).

Thanks for the interest! Remember us in your prayers.

Fr Maximos

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Well, I think it's a wonderful idea, quite in the spirit of the Anastasia Dialogue. Monastic oblates, an apostolate of prayer and metanoia. I also like the lengthy novitiate. The mysticism of the east is alluring and the 3 years provides a weeding out period for those who would "play monk" as you said. It is a return to much of what has been lost in the catholic church in terms of lay orders, 3rd orders and what not. As these orders slowly die out, so of course do their lay memberships. This is the best of both worlds, a lay apostolate AND eastern spirituality! HRM does it again and I take my skufia off to them!

Jon

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Originally Posted by Fr Maximos
I should also point out that we also have some married clergy associates, as well as a couple dozen lay associates now.

So are the married clerical associates also given the same monastic garb? I realize that it is quite new, so there may be no set practice as of yet...

I am delighted this has developed, and hope many more explore this type of spiritual association.

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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No, we did not think it would be appropriate to give married associates the monastic habit. What all associates receive is a prayer rope and, on completion of the novitiate, a hand Cross.

Fr Maximos

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Very exciting. Already sent my email in to HRM along with emails to fellow parishioners and others in my protopresbytery.

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Originally Posted by sbdn Jon
What about a married cleric?

I have often wondered about the use of a smaller schema (in the style of a scapular) for Monastic Associates.

This would also be inappropriate for a married cleric. The schema is only worn by tonsured monastics.

I think the lay associates is a great idea and I follow HRM's web site. All the best to Fr. Maximos and the brotherhood!

nun Alexandra

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Originally Posted by nunalexandra
Originally Posted by sbdn Jon
What about a married cleric?

I have often wondered about the use of a smaller schema (in the style of a scapular) for Monastic Associates.

This would also be inappropriate for a married cleric. The schema is only worn by tonsured monastics.

I think the lay associates is a great idea and I follow HRM's web site. All the best to Fr. Maximos and the brotherhood!

nun Alexandra

Mother Alexandra,

But the use of the scapular for the oblates of a monastic community is a venerable tradition in both East and West, and, unless I am mistaken, is it not a smaller form of monastic schema?

I seem to recall a wonderful article by Dr. Alexander Roman which mentioned this. Does anyone know how to locate it?

God bless,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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I was able to locate this discussion...quite interesting!
Discussion on Scapular

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Dear Father Deacon Daniel,

I am unaware of the use of the scapular in the Eastern monastic tradition for those not tonsured as monastics, so could you please reference that for us?

I as a monastic agree with Mother Alexandra. Married clerics and laity having a small schema is inappropriate, and I feel to be watering down of the meaning of the schema. From the time of Saint Anthony the Great, the schema has been handed down to monastics, signifying their death to the world, and is not an item generally shown off. There are other ways that an "associate" or "oblate" can signify their association or commitment to a community.

I akin this desire for things that symbolize another "calling" to be a desire for "dress-up", and should be avoided as not to water down the true meaning of what they signify. Why not add clerical garb and vestments for those, to signify their royal priestly calling?

I find those that seek after associations of this type sometimes are concerned more for the "toys" they can wear and show off, to be lacking not only in the understanding of the significance of what they are assuming, but in spiritual growth also.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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Father Anthony,

I agree with you completely, which was why I expressed concern about what was given to the associates above. To my mind, it is inappropriate for laity or married clerics to wear monastic garb, except, as I said, perhaps in burial if they are an oblate. I have been told that this is a traditional practice in some monastic traditions, although I do not know if those traditions included Eastern ones. Perhaps you may know.

It is also one of the reasons why the scapular, hidden under ones shirt or vestment, seems to be much more in keeping with the spirit of the lay or "cathedral" state. The majority are called to be a hidden leaven in the world, and wearing big crosses or dressing in a manner that is "semi-monastic" while a lay person is not spirituality, as one poster brilliantly wrote here some 10 years ago, it's halloween!

Regarding the supposed tradition of the connection between the scapular and the schema, I'm relying on the memory of something I read either here or elsewhere several years ago about the origin of the scapular. If that information was incorrect or if my memory is in error, I'm certainly open to being corrected on the matter.

God bless,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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One contemporary example of such confusion...

Monastic Families [littleportion.org]

They do in fact vest in monastic garb.

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