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Offline CopticDeacon

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Consecration of Monks
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:19:08 AM »
Does anyone have a link to a website/PDF containing the consecration of monks in any Oriental Orthodox Church in English?  I am looking for the Coptic Rite specifically but other rites interest me as well. Thank you for your time.
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 11:20:23 AM »
Sorry to Bump this up but I know you guys have SOMETHING. Salpy?
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 11:22:18 AM »
You specified English.  I like English, but all I've got is a rite you're probably not familiar with in a language you probably can't read.  ;)
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 11:31:24 AM »
Mor, I'll take greek and work on it, Coptic and work on it. I can speak arabic but can't read or write. I'll take spanish. My french is rusty beyond belief (useless actually), but worth it due to the fact I can't find any of these rites. Have any of those?  ;D
(Probably not)
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 11:34:21 AM »
Mor, I'll take greek and work on it, Coptic and work on it. I can speak arabic but can't read or write. I'll take spanish. My french is rusty beyond belief (useless actually), but worth it due to the fact I can't find any of these rites. Have any of those?  ;D
(Probably not)

Can you work on Malayalam?  :P
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 11:43:58 AM »
...no *single tear*
can you tell me generally what kind of prayers it consists of?
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 11:46:58 AM »
...no *single tear*
can you tell me generally what kind of prayers it consists of?

...good prayers?  ;)

Seriously, what do you mean? 
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 11:59:08 AM »
That actually made me laugh  ;D
In the Coptic Rite (as far as I know because I'm still looking for a document) there are general prayers and vows for the brothers who will be consecrated. Then they lay down on the ground and are covered with The Curtain/Curtains of the the Gate of the Altar. At that point the funeral prayers are prayed on them, (they die from the world) they are unveiled and stand up again at the end of the funeral. There are other prayers I am unsure of after that point. They are clothed with the black monastic garb. At the end we sing Axios(as) (worthy) for Virgin Mary, the saint of the monastery and each monk by name. Then there is a final blessing by the bishop/abbot of the monastery and the monks return to their daily activities. In what I've seen, laypeople are allowed to attend the consecration.
Can you break down the rite for your Church?
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Offline sheenj

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 12:00:11 PM »
Mar Polycarpos, the SOC Metropolitan of The Netherlands wrote his doctoral dissertation on the West-Syriac Rite of the Consecration of Monks. If you have access to a school Research Database, you might be able to pull his dissertation, which has English translations of the relevant texts.


Here's the bibliography of the dissertation.
Aydin, Edip, ''Comparing the Syriac Order of Monastic Profession (ṭeksā d-sufārā d-dayrāyē) with the Order of Baptism (ṭeksā da-‘mādā) both in External Structure and in Theological Themes''. Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2011.
Keywords: IV-VII CE, VII-XVIII CE, IV CE, V CE, VI CE, IX CE, liturgics, sacraments, baptism, monasticism, asceticism, bnai qyama, garments of light, women, Severus of Antioch, Philoxenus of Mabbug, Jacob of Edessa, Moses bar Kepha, Jacobite, primary sources [Syriac] + English translation.

Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 12:02:17 PM »
Mar Polycarpos, the SOC Metropolitan of The Netherlands wrote his doctoral dissertation on the West-Syriac Rite of the Consecration of Monks. If you have access to a school Research Database, you might be able to pull his dissertation, which has English translations of the relevant texts.
Thanks! I'll look into it.
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Offline sheenj

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 12:35:21 PM »
Also, Basil T. A. Evetts wrote an article in the Revue de l’Orient Chrétien about the Coptic rite of Monastic Tonsure. This PDF has the article starting on page 75 of the PDF and what looks to be the Coptic text starting on page 83. There's also more coptic text starting on page 150 of the PDF which looks like a continuation of the first text from page 83.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 12:37:37 PM »
Can you break down the rite for your Church?

I need to look for the text, it's packed away with other books.  Until then, here are a couple of videos:

India: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSCuyf_9R6o (1)
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEYguPwANTI (2)
Syria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5HJ2zsqplk

I don't know how "edited" the videos are compared to the actual service, but they basically have everything. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:40:55 PM by Mor Ephrem »
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 12:54:11 PM »
I'm trying to work out the Coptic Text. I'm watching the Syriac consecration now. I've seen the Indian one before. I'm confused by the Indian one though. Are they laymen elected to be bishops and they receive their monastic tonsure in order to become bishops? An explanation would be appreciated.
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 12:58:43 PM »
Is there a reason the Syrian monks wear the skoufia so far back? Coptic monks wear it just above the eyebrows.
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Offline sheenj

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 01:01:56 PM »
I'm trying to work out the Coptic Text. I'm watching the Syriac consecration now. I've seen the Indian one before. I'm confused by the Indian one though. Are they laymen elected to be bishops and they receive their monastic tonsure in order to become bishops? An explanation would be appreciated.

I can't watch the video right now, but the bishop candidates being tonsured are probably not laymen, but rather unmarried priests who haven't received tonsure. We have a lot more unmarried priests than tonsured monks so bishop candidates tend to favor the former group.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 01:02:45 PM »
I'm confused by the Indian one though. Are they laymen elected to be bishops and they receive their monastic tonsure in order to become bishops? An explanation would be appreciated.

No, those were celibate priests who did not previously make their monastic profession.  Upon election to the episcopate, but before their ordination, they make their monastic profession.  It's one of those "letter of the law" situations that's not ideal, but in practice it's not unusual.  
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 01:12:47 PM »
Thanks Guys! This isn't over though! I still want to know if there's an english version for Coptic Rite.
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Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 01:50:12 PM »
This is the final part of the Coptic monk consecration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASwPwrNl6Mo
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 07:07:00 PM »
I've got a question not related to the OP but related to monks: do OO monks bathe?  I'm pretty sure Indian monks bathe, but I don't know if the other OO monks have the same tradition as the EO monks, who supposedly do not bathe ever.   
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 08:21:52 PM »
I've got a question not related to the OP but related to monks: do OO monks bathe?  I'm pretty sure Indian monks bathe, but I don't know if the other OO monks have the same tradition as the EO monks, who supposedly do not bathe ever.   

I think that's more of a theory than practice thing in many areas :-). (If my nose is to be believed anyways ;-).)

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 08:38:32 PM »
I've got a question not related to the OP but related to monks: do OO monks bathe?  I'm pretty sure Indian monks bathe, but I don't know if the other OO monks have the same tradition as the EO monks, who supposedly do not bathe ever.   
Is this a pretty universal claim? I ask because the monks in my area bathe, though infrequently.
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 08:37:51 AM »
In the EO tradition, IIRC, a bishop of any monastic level can tonsure a monk to riassaphore, stravaphore, and Angelic Schema; also a monk, who is not a priest, can tonsure another monk to his same level.  Is it the same in the OO tradition?
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Offline aiernovi

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 10:16:20 AM »
I have an English version of the Coptic Rite, but I only have it in hard copy. The monks had it prepared because HH Pope Shenouda was consecrating two monks on a visit to the United States. Was there anything in particular you are looking for within the rite?

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2014, 06:29:25 AM »
I have an English version of the Coptic Rite, but I only have it in hard copy. The monks had it prepared because HH Pope Shenouda was consecrating two monks on a visit to the United States. Was there anything in particular you are looking for within the rite?
Hey aiernovi(i have as well...coptic jokes)! I am actually looking for procedure(when they are covered with the altar veil, rise up, readings, hymns. Etc) so pretty much everything. Do you know where I could get that book? Or could you even send to me. (If you don't need it)
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2014, 08:38:40 AM »
In the EO tradition, IIRC, a bishop of any monastic level can tonsure a monk to riassaphore, stravaphore, and Angelic Schema; also a monk, who is not a priest, can tonsure another monk to his same level.  Is it the same in the OO tradition?

It was until very recently. The ordain of monks was done by the abbots (or hegoumens) of monasteries. Abouna Matta El Maskeen ordained his monks. H.H. Pope Shenouda III abolished this and decreed that only bishops may ordain monks, and also replaced hegoumens (abbots) with bishops of monasteries, something not found prior to this time, inconsistent with the history of abbots refusing to allow even the priesthood in the early monasteries, and a change from the traditional understanding of what a bishop is. Today, the Pope is given the great schema, even though his duties do not permit him to follow its rule, with the argument that he must have it in order to give it.

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2014, 11:27:00 AM »
In the EO tradition, IIRC, a bishop of any monastic level can tonsure a monk to riassaphore, stravaphore, and Angelic Schema; also a monk, who is not a priest, can tonsure another monk to his same level.  Is it the same in the OO tradition?

It was until very recently. The ordain of monks was done by the abbots (or hegoumens) of monasteries. Abouna Matta El Maskeen ordained his monks. H.H. Pope Shenouda III abolished this and decreed that only bishops may ordain monks, and also replaced hegoumens (abbots) with bishops of monasteries, something not found prior to this time, inconsistent with the history of abbots refusing to allow even the priesthood in the early monasteries, and a change from the traditional understanding of what a bishop is. Today, the Pope is given the great schema, even though his duties do not permit him to follow its rule, with the argument that he must have it in order to give it.

Do you think this change will be the norm within the Coptic Church, even with the new Pope Theophilos?
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2014, 12:14:22 PM »
Do you think this change will be the norm within the Coptic Church, even with the new Pope Theophilos?

Who's that impostor?!   ;)






The Pope's name is Tawadros. 
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2014, 08:04:48 AM »
Do you think this change will be the norm within the Coptic Church, even with the new Pope Theophilos?

Who's that impostor?!   ;)

The Pope's name is Tawadros. 

No 3 point font, so all can see.   :)  Thanks for the correction.  I Google "Coptic Pope" and the first name I see is Theophilos and I didn't bother to double-check.

"Oh, I guess Google's right.  I thought his name started with a 'T'."   ;) Thanks again.
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2014, 08:28:18 AM »
In the EO tradition, IIRC, a bishop of any monastic level can tonsure a monk to riassaphore, stravaphore, and Angelic Schema; also a monk, who is not a priest, can tonsure another monk to his same level.  Is it the same in the OO tradition?

It was until very recently. The ordain of monks was done by the abbots (or hegoumens) of monasteries. Abouna Matta El Maskeen ordained his monks. H.H. Pope Shenouda III abolished this and decreed that only bishops may ordain monks, and also replaced hegoumens (abbots) with bishops of monasteries, something not found prior to this time, inconsistent with the history of abbots refusing to allow even the priesthood in the early monasteries, and a change from the traditional understanding of what a bishop is. Today, the Pope is given the great schema, even though his duties do not permit him to follow its rule, with the argument that he must have it in order to give it.

I'm not very familiar with monastic rites, but given the contemporary history of monasticism in the Coptic Church, I can see "discipline-wise" (as opposed to tradition) why HH might have done so, probably to prevent any corruption within monasteries, which at times seem to have been a problem in the early 20th century.  The granting of the schema to the Pope on the other hand is an odd practice find myself leaning against.
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2014, 02:40:20 PM »
Quote
I can see "discipline-wise" (as opposed to tradition) why HH might have done so, probably to prevent any corruption within monasteries, which at times seem to have been a problem in the early 20th century

The statement is too general. What exactly was corrupt and in what way does the centralization of the power in the hand of the Pope address this corruption? 

I must also say that it must have been a "blessed" corruption in the early 20th century, which produced giants such as Mina EL-Baramousi (later Pope Kyrillos VI), Mikhael El-Mahar'i monastery (also known as El-Behery), Yustus El-Antoni, Abd EL-Messih El-Habashy (The Ethiopian), Abd El-Messih El-Mas3ouday, Philemon El-Makari, Abd El-Messih EL-Manahri and numerous other notable spiritual figures of the past century.
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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2014, 06:33:27 PM »
Quote
I can see "discipline-wise" (as opposed to tradition) why HH might have done so, probably to prevent any corruption within monasteries, which at times seem to have been a problem in the early 20th century

The statement is too general. What exactly was corrupt and in what way does the centralization of the power in the hand of the Pope address this corruption? 

I must also say that it must have been a "blessed" corruption in the early 20th century, which produced giants such as Mina EL-Baramousi (later Pope Kyrillos VI), Mikhael El-Mahar'i monastery (also known as El-Behery), Yustus El-Antoni, Abd EL-Messih El-Habashy (The Ethiopian), Abd El-Messih El-Mas3ouday, Philemon El-Makari, Abd El-Messih EL-Manahri and numerous other notable spiritual figures of the past century.


For instance, among the stories I hear was the haphazard acceptance of men failed in society and undereducated to become monks.  HH St. Kyrillos initiated a mission to end that, and it seems HH Pope Shenouda continued in the same vein with restrictive policies.  Just because there were corruptions does not mean the system was devoid of saints.
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Offline Stavro

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2014, 06:37:55 PM »
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For instance, among the stories I hear was the haphazard acceptance of men failed in society and undereducated to become monks.  HH St. Kyrillos initiated a mission to end that,

1. How do you define "failed" individuals in the society? What measures do you use? Is it their wealth, their education or their prestige?

Was Peter the Apostle a failure, considering his low upbringing and his profession, as well as the total lack of any education? He was not a monk, he was an APOSTLE of the Lord.

Was the Lord himself a failure, considering the above factors? Even as a teacher, he died a blasphemer and was followed after three years of intensive preaching by his mother, his aunts, a lady formerly possessed of demons and a teenager. What a failure !

2. What level of education is appropriate for monasticism? Is it a Ph.D., or an M.Sc., or maybe an MBA?

3. Pope Kyrillos himself was uneducated by all measures, even for his time. He only finished High School. My grandfather was his same age and he went to university and obtained a Ph.D, and so did many of his contemporaries. Pope Kyrillos should have been prevented from monasticism if we follow your logic.

4. Pope Kyrillos ordained both educated and uneducated bishops. Three prominent bishops who did not have a university degree were Anba Macarius of Kennah, Anba Daniel of Khartoum and Anba Estafanous of Um Durman. Anba Macarius of Kennah is the one who came back from the dead to build St. Mary's cathedral in Kennah and to fullfill his wish to die while praying the liturgy. He was a peasant "fala7", and he finished 9th grade. He is a saint regardless of the education he received. I doubt Pope Kyrillos would prevent "failures" from entering the monastic life but ordain them to episcopate. In fact, there is no record of such decisions by Pope Kyrillos because Pope Kyrillos did not consider himself the Supreme Leader of the Church with jurisdiction over all monasteries. He followed the Orthodox ecclesiology, unlike other Popes who modeled the Church after the RC one.

5. Why is this standard only applied to monasticism? Shouldn't we prevent failures from entering the Church all together?

Even the wealthy individuals and educated businessmen who choose monasticism, such as Fr. Matta El-Maskeen, have expressed that their wealth and education is not the reason for the enlightenment and spirituality. He and Anba Gregorius, a very educated man and a scholar of immense knowledge, were disciples of Pope Kyrillos, the uneducated failure, according to your standards.

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Just because there were corruptions does not mean the system was devoid of saints.


What corruption? Do you have examples about this alleged corruption that needed PS3 to introduce his innovations into the very strong monastic tradition of the Coptic Church? 
In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2014, 06:48:16 PM »
St. Peter and Pope St. Kyrillos VI were not "failures in society".  They had careers.  St. Kyrillos VI, like other successful monks, chose to be a monk, regardless of their levels of education, whether a farmer, a fisherman, a businessman, a secretary, a professor, or pharmacist.  I'm not talking about lack of philosophers or PhDs.  I'm talking about those who sought monasticism as an alternative to the fact that they failed in society or "gave up" in society, or those who haven't found a wife to marry, etc.  This was very prevalent at the time, and so are considered to become monks for the wrong reasons.  Pope Kyrillos VI initiated a monastic system that would not allow that very easily, and Abouna Matta al Maskeen and Pope Shenouda continued this more stringently.  And this is also regardless of ecclesiastical or theological interests.

As for those entering the Church, ideally, no one should enter the Church because of false reasons, like socio-political benefits (like the 4th and 5th centuries), in love with a Church member, or anything else that has nothing to do with actual belief and practice in faith.  So, in all honesty, yes, to my knowledge these are "failures" of those who want to be in the faith.

I appreciate any approach from you that seeks to understand and not accuse.  God bless.  Christ is Risen!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 07:00:00 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2014, 07:14:48 PM »
As for the term "undereducated", I admit this can be misunderstood.  However, I do feel that those who seek monasticism as novices must go through a period of education and training, to see if they are worthy of monasticism.  So in this context, this is what I meant by "undereducated".  Pope St. Kyrillos became educated as is proven by his spiritual writings as adopted from St. Isaac the Syrian.  Abouna Matta al Maskeen pioneered a system that would admit people of all education groups and vocational skills for his monastery, from the farmer to the doctor, and not just merely the excuse "I want to live a life of prayer and seclusion".  You have to offer something in the service.

Before Pope Kyrillos and Pope Shenouda, it was very easy to find a lax "monk", and monasticism seemed to be dying.  Pope Kyrillos hired Abouna Matta for Deir Abu Maqar when it was on the brink of becoming a mere archaeological history.  Some of the best and most educated bishops were under the time of Pope Kyrillos.  I think we need to give credit to the fact that even when we admit those who are qualified into monasticism and clergy that have low education status in society, nevertheless, in the faith and spirituality, continued "education" was important.  You can tell even a poor fisherman like St. Peter was brought up very wise and "educated" in the faith.  This is what we believe what happened in the 40 days following Resurrection.  St. Antonios who was an illiterate man was also quite "educated" as proven by his letters he left for us (letters written of course by his followers), and was also helpful in fighting Arian heresy, which was shrewd in its approach of philosophy.

So, no, my standards are not to have masters or PhDs into the service, but that they do their best actually educating themselves in the capacity they have vowed to offer to Christ our Lord.  This is what was lacking at times in the early 20th Century.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 07:17:06 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Stavro

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2014, 12:45:57 PM »
I understand your point now and agree with most of it. Thank you for clarification.

But I disagree on this point:

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However, I do feel that those who seek monasticism as novices must go through a period of education and training, to see if they are worthy of monasticism.

They should go through a period of training, no doubt, but they should not be measured against their worldly successes.

Monasticism, by definition, is to leave every worldly knowledge and possession behind and enter into a life of purity and consecration to the Lord. The only source of education shall come from the Spirit, because worldly wisdom is ignorance, in fact an abomination, in the eyes of the Lord. In my opinion, a simple peasant in the Delta of Egypt, tilling the earth with no formal education, should be "allowed" to leave the world to monasticism without measuring this decision by how much he left behind.

This peasant could be Yustus El-Antony, Abd El-Messih El-Habashi, Anba Abraam and Anba Macarius, among other saints.

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St. Antonios who was an illiterate man was also quite "educated" as proven by his letters he left for us (letters written of course by his followers),

In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)

Offline CopticDeacon

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Re: Consecration of Monks
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2014, 04:52:06 PM »
Wow this got pretty off topic but it's a good debate. Stavro is right.
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