How do I become a monk?
As a first step, the inquirer joins the monastery as a guest, to get acquainted with the place, the community, and the way of life. If the interest persists and grows, he is accepted to the monastery as a postulant (postulare = to request, require), a stage that lasts between three to six months and that carries no rights and obligations. After that, there is the one year's novitiate (novicius = beginner). The “new candidate” starts to wear the habit and commits himself to prayer and to work.
After this probationary period, the novice makes his first profession (profession = confession), vowing obedience, stability and conversion of manners (monastic conduct) for a temporary period of three years. If, after these three years, both he and the monks decide to continue their joint path in the community, the vow of solemn or perpetual profession ensues, and a permanent bond with the monastery is thus forged. (RB58)
What are the prerequisites for becoming a monk?
Aspirants should be between 18 and 40 years old and in good mental and physical health. They must be members of the Roman-Catholic church, and there must be no impediments preventing them from joining (existing marriage or vows, debts or other obligations, severe sin). Another prerequisite is either the Abitur (general qualification for university entrance) or a completed vocational training.
What is the day-to-day routine of a monk?
The daily routine in a monastery is strictly regulated because „Idleness is the enemy of the soul“. (RB, 48, translation taken from osb.org)
06:15 am: Vigil (vigilia = guard, nightwatch) and Lauds (laus=praise,hymn)
07:00 am: Religious reading and silent contemplation, followed by breakfast
08:15 am: Holy Mass and Terce, followed by work (10:00 am on Sundays)
12:00 noon: Midday Prayer (hora = hour, time) Sext and None, followed by lunch
01:00 pm: Midday break, followed by work
05:30 pm: Vespers (vespera = evening)
06:40 pm: Dinner, followed by time for recreation (recreare = refresh)
07:30 pm: Compline (completorium = final prayers)
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