What is the process of becoming a monk in the Coptic tradition? are there any writings about it?


  • If one desires to be a monk, this wish is first discussed with his father of confession who may give the person a wide variety of answers depending on the individual. This may include suggestions to visit various monasteries for short periods of time, canons to commit to at home to get a taste for the monastic life, etc. Afterwards, the person may express his desire explore the monastic life to the head of the monastery along with a letter of approval from his father of confession.

    At this point, the head of the monastery would make a decision as to how to proceed next. Eventually, if God wills, the person will become a novice in the monastery. During this period, the novice gets a chance to taste the monastic life and the monks living in the monastery get a chance to see if the novice is a good fit there. During this time the novice is free to change his mind and leave the monastery and the monastery is also free to dismiss the novice should any problems arise or should his spiritual father feel he is not suited for the monastic life.

    After a period of time which may vary from person to person but is typically no less than 3 years, the novice will be consecrated and put on the monastic garb if all things have gone well up to that point.

  • Very nice response aiernovi. I would add that the potential person needs to have a college education and not seeking monastic life because he doesn't know what career he wants. If the person is very young, he will need parental permission. Parental permission is usually assumed in the father of confession's recommendation letter. If the person can't supply a priest's recommendation, then he is not likely to be accepted unless he there is a reason for an exception.

    There are really no writings about it because it is up to the individual monastery. Every monastery's bishop or abbot (sometimes the diocese's bishop) can set up a different protocol. It comes down to a calling. If God calls the person to monasticism, He will let the bishop know somehow. If God has not called the person, the Holy Spirit will guide the monastery's leaders.
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