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Author Topic: Questions about monastic ranks  (Read 838 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: October 01, 2011, 09:31:33 PM »

Does an abbot or hegumen (a leader of a monastery, basically) necessarily need to be a schemamonk?

Would a staretz or geronta always be a schemamonk?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 09:34:37 PM by William » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 09:40:14 PM »

While I've never read anything to confirm that, logically I would think it is so.

However human organizations don't always work logically, so I'm curious to see if this is true.
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2011, 09:44:40 PM »

I don't know about other traditions, but in the Russian Church one does not need to be a schemamonk.
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 09:47:40 PM »

I don't know about other traditions, but in the Russian Church one does not need to be a schemamonk.
So rassaphores and stavrophores are sometimes put above schemamonks?

Is the abbot made a schemamonk upon his appointment as abbot?

How does it work if an abbot is making a monk a schemamonk if he isn't one himself?
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 01:29:59 PM »

Bump.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 02:27:38 PM »

I don't know about other traditions, but in the Russian Church one does not need to be a schemamonk.
So rassaphores and stavrophores are sometimes put above schemamonks?

Is the abbot made a schemamonk upon his appointment as abbot?

How does it work if an abbot is making a monk a schemamonk if he isn't one himself?

In the Russian Church, there are hardly any schemamonks in America. I think ROCOR only has about three (including Bishop George of Mayfield). In the Russian tradition, one is only usually made a schema monk if they are going to be a hermit.
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 02:31:20 PM »

Fr. Tryphon, the abbot of All Merciful Savior Monastery in Washington is not a great-schema.
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 02:51:25 PM »

Does an abbot or hegumen (a leader of a monastery, basically) necessarily need to be a schemamonk?

Would a staretz or geronta always be a schemamonk?

I don't think so. Schemamonks are very rare.
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 06:43:58 PM »

I don't know about other traditions, but in the Russian Church one does not need to be a schemamonk.
So rassaphores and stavrophores are sometimes put above schemamonks?

Is the abbot made a schemamonk upon his appointment as abbot?

How does it work if an abbot is making a monk a schemamonk if he isn't one himself?

In the Coptic Church an abbot will often be appointed who does not wear the escheme, while there are monks in the monastery who do as well as hermits, since one would have to give up being a hermit to serve as an abbot, and it is very difficult to carry out the rule of prayer associated with the escheme while performing administrative duties. The abbot (whether a hegoumen or a bishop) isn't necessarily the father in confession for the monks, many of whom go to hermit and other senior monks for guidance, but the abbot has administrative jurisdiction of all of them. I suspect that this is quite different than the early days (I know making abbots bishops instead of hegoumens is new, and suspect that there used to be more congruence between the persion assigning tasks and the person giving spiritual guidance)
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 08:22:49 AM »

Does an abbot or hegumen (a leader of a monastery, basically) necessarily need to be a schemamonk?

Would a staretz or geronta always be a schemamonk?

I believe the answer is "no" to both, with respect to the Great Schema.  In some traditions, the Great Schema is given only to those monastics who are called to live in greater seclusion and asceticism.  The Great Schema may also be given to a monk in a monastery prior to their repose.  I would suspect that most abbots of monasteries do not have the great schema, and that not all who are considered a staretz or geronta have the great schema, though many of them may.   
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2011, 09:45:04 AM »

For whatever reason in our jurisdiction the great schema seems to be standard for hieromonks. It probably varies from place to place. But jah is right that the great schema is not a canonical prerequisite for the abbacy or anything like that.
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2011, 11:24:11 AM »

For whatever reason in our jurisdiction the great schema seems to be standard for hieromonks. It probably varies from place to place. But jah is right that the great schema is not a canonical prerequisite for the abbacy or anything like that.

Well, the usual practice in the Greek tradition is that when monastic vows are taken, then they should be tonsured to the Great Schema. They are of the mind that once one is tonsured, then they should go all out and take the Great Schema. In contrast, most Russian monks who are tonsured will take the small schema (stavrophore) and that is as far as they go because the Great Schema will be reserved for those who will live as hermits. I got all this information from Fr. Seraphim of Holy Cross Monastery in WV this past summer when we were discussing monastic ranks.
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2011, 12:08:03 PM »

For whatever reason in our jurisdiction the great schema seems to be standard for hieromonks. It probably varies from place to place. But jah is right that the great schema is not a canonical prerequisite for the abbacy or anything like that.

Well, the usual practice in the Greek tradition is that when monastic vows are taken, then they should be tonsured to the Great Schema. They are of the mind that once one is tonsured, then they should go all out and take the Great Schema. In contrast, most Russian monks who are tonsured will take the small schema (stavrophore) and that is as far as they go because the Great Schema will be reserved for those who will live as hermits. I got all this information from Fr. Seraphim of Holy Cross Monastery in WV this past summer when we were discussing monastic ranks.

OK, but then they aren't tonsured to the great schema right away. I know someone who's been a monk for a while and I'm pretty sure he doesn't wear the great schema, and he's never been ordained a priest.
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2011, 01:28:06 PM »

For whatever reason in our jurisdiction the great schema seems to be standard for hieromonks. It probably varies from place to place. But jah is right that the great schema is not a canonical prerequisite for the abbacy or anything like that.

Well, the usual practice in the Greek tradition is that when monastic vows are taken, then they should be tonsured to the Great Schema. They are of the mind that once one is tonsured, then they should go all out and take the Great Schema. In contrast, most Russian monks who are tonsured will take the small schema (stavrophore) and that is as far as they go because the Great Schema will be reserved for those who will live as hermits. I got all this information from Fr. Seraphim of Holy Cross Monastery in WV this past summer when we were discussing monastic ranks.

OK, but then they aren't tonsured to the great schema right away. I know someone who's been a monk for a while and I'm pretty sure he doesn't wear the great schema, and he's never been ordained a priest.

I believe you're both right on this. It seems that the Great Schema is more common among the Greeks (I believe Greeks tonsure novies into the rassophore and stavrophone ranks very quickly, and the Great Schema is awarded within 15-20 years of monastic service. in the Russian tradition, it is VERY different. I have never met a Russian tradition monk of the Great Schema, and probably never will (unless I go on pilgrimage to Russia and seek one out!). The only Great Schema monk I know of in America from the Russian tradition, as was mentioned above, is Bishop George at Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia. However, Vladyka was tonsured into the Schema on Mt. Athos, into the Greek Schema, during his time there. I only live a few hours away from the monastery and I'm there regularly. I've never seen Vladyka actually wear the Schema, either of the Greek or the Russian tradition.

I believe the tradition laid out above (as attributed to Fr. Seraphim) is correct. I've never spoken with him about it, but, from what I've read, observed and heard, it fits.
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2011, 01:31:51 PM »

What Bishop George? Was it before his ordination into the bishopric?
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2011, 01:57:33 PM »

This is Bishop George of Mayfield (ROCOR) who resides at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in WV.  His tonsure to the Great Schema was before his episcopal consecration, and there have been others from the Jordanville Monastery (ROCOR) who were tonsured into the Great Schema on Mt. Athos and were later made bishops.  Abp Anthony of San Francisco is one. 


"On Monday, September 25, at 9 am, the funerary liturgy was served, attended by an enormous number of clergymen of the Diocese, and that evening, a parastas [great pannikhida] was performed, headed by Bishop Kyrill along with Bishop Jovan of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the clergymen of the Diocese and seven Serbian priests. Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko gave a eulogy. He said that this was a schema-monk who lay before the worshipers. Vladyka Anthony did not tell anyone that before becoming a bishop, he assumed the Great Schema, but he led his life as an austere monk."

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/articles/ovlanttonii.html

I don't know if any monk has been tonsured to the Great Schema while residing in the Jordanville Monastery, which would follow the more strict Russian practice of tonsuring to the Great Schema only those who are embarking on a life of strict asceticism and seclusion.
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