A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers or religious sisters, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion. The term derives via Old French from Latin conventus, perfect participle of the verb convenio, meaning to convene, the original reference was to the gathering of mendicants who spent much of their time travelling. Technically, a monastery or nunnery is a community of monastics, whereas a friary or convent is a community of mendicants, and a canonry a community of canons regular. The terms abbey and priory can be applied to both monasteries and canonries, an abbey is headed by an Abbot, and a priory is a dependent house headed by a Prior. In English usage since about the 19th century the term convent almost invariably refers to a community of women, in historical usage they are often interchangeable, with convent especially likely to be used for a friary. When applied to houses in Eastern Orthodoxy and Buddhism, English refers to all houses of male religious as monasteries.
Christian monasticism Enclosed religious orders Herbermann, Charles, ed. Convent, carmelite Monastery of the Sacred Hearts —- an example of a modern-day convent Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Convent
Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study, Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God. Christian meditation aims to heighten the relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion. Teachings in both the Eastern and Western Christian churches have emphasized the use of Christian meditation as an element in increasing knowledge of Christ. Christian meditation involves looking back on Jesus life and adoration of God for his action in sending Jesus for human salvation. In her book The Interior Castle Saint Teresa of Avila defined Christian meditation as follows, By meditation I mean prolonged reasoning with the understanding, in this way. We begin by thinking of the favor which God bestowed upon us by giving us His only Son, building on that theme, E. P.
Clowney explained that three dimensions of Christian meditation are crucial, not merely for showing its distinctiveness, but for guiding its practice. The first is that Christian meditation is grounded in the Bible, the second distinctive mark of Christian meditation is that it responds to the love of God, as in I John, We love, for he first loved us. The personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion is thus heightened in Christian meditation, the third dimension is that the revelations of the Bible and the love of God lead to the worship of God, making Christian meditation an exercise in praise. While Protestants view salvation in terms of faith and grace alone both Western and Eastern Christians see a role for meditation on the path to salvation and redemption, apostle Paul stated in Epistle to the Romans 9,16 that salvation only comes from God that hath mercy. The path to salvation in Christian meditation is not one of give and take, the Word of God directs meditations to show the two aspects of love that please God and adoration.
The initiative in Christian salvation is with God, and one does not meditate or love God to gain his favor. In Western Christian teachings, meditation is believed to involve the inherent action of the Holy Spirit to help the meditating Christian understand the deeper meanings of the Word of God. In the 20th century, Hans Urs von Balthasar paraphrased this teaching as follows, how could we understand what is within God and is disclosed to us except through the Spirit of God who is communicated to us. As a biblical basis for teaching, von Balthasar referred to 1 Corinthians 2, 9-10. The Spirit searches all things, even the things of God. Christian meditation is different from the style of meditations performed in Eastern religions or in the context of the New Age, while other types of meditation may suggest approaches to disengage the mind, Christian meditation aims to fill the mind with thoughts related to Biblical passages or Christian devotions. Unlike eastern meditations, most styles of Christian meditations are intended to stimulate thought, Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion
Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of practice, may be either individual or communal. It may involve the use of words, song or complete silence, when language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, formal creedal statement, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving. Thus, people pray for many such as personal benefit, asking for divine grace, spiritual connection. Some anthropologists believe that the earliest intelligent modern humans practiced a form of prayer, scientific studies regarding the use of prayer have mostly concentrated on its effect on the healing of sick or injured people. Meta-studies of the studies in this field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a small effect. Some studies have indicated increased medical complications in groups receiving prayer over those without, the efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous other studies, with contradictory results.
There has been criticism of the way the studies were conducted. The act of prayer is attested in sources as early as 5000 years ago. Some anthropologists, such as Sir Edward Burnett Tylor and Sir James George Frazer, various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer, Jewish prayer may involve swaying back and forth and bowing. Muslims practice salat in their prayers, some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Friedrich Heiler is often cited in Christian circles for his systematic Typology of Prayer which lists six types of prayer, ritual, Greek cultural, mystical, some forms of prayer require a prior ritualistic form of cleansing or purification such as in ghusl and wudhu. Prayer may be privately and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers.
Prayer can be incorporated into a daily life, in which one is in constant communication with a god. Some people pray throughout all that is happening during the day and this is actually regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations, although enforcement is not possible nor desirable
An abbey is a complex of buildings used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. It provides a place for activities and housing of Christian monks. The concept of the abbey has developed over centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic, an abbey may be the home of an enclosed religious order or may be open to visitors. The layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey often follows a set plan determined by the religious order. Abbeys are often self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking spiritual retreat. There are many famous abbeys across Europe, the earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous ascetic or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life.
In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation and they would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community. For instance, the cells and huts of anchorites have been found in the deserts of Egypt, in 312 AD, Anthony the Great retired to the Thebaid region of Egypt to escape the persecution of the Emperor Maximian. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his due to his degree of austerity, sanctity. The deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became and they refused to be separated from him and built their cells close to him. This became a first true monastic community, according to Johann August Wilhelm Neander, inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism. At Tabennae on the Nile, in Upper Egypt, Saint Pachomius laid the foundations for the life by arranging everything in an organized manner.
He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines and these cells formed an encampment where the monks slept and performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, kitchen, infirmary, an enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village. This layout, known as the laurae, became popular throughout Palestine, as well as the laurae, communities known as caenobia developed
Catholic religious order
Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes. Subcategories are canons regular, monastics and clerks regular, original Catholic religious orders of the Middle Ages include the Order of Saint Benedict, the Carmelites, the Order of Friars Minor, the Dominican Order, and the Order of Saint Augustine. As such, the Teutonic Order may qualify, today mainly monastic, in the past, what distinguished religious orders from other institutes was the classification of the vows that the members took in religious profession as solemn vows. According to this criterion, the last religious order founded was that of the Bethlehem Brothers in 1673. Nevertheless, in the course of the 20th century some religious institutes outside the category of orders obtained permission to make solemn vows, at least of poverty, solemn vows were originally considered indissoluble. As noted below, dispensations began to be granted in times, the members of a religious order for men were called regulars, those belonging to a religious congregation were simply religious, a term that applied to regulars.
However, it abolished the distinction according to which solemn vows, thus members of orders were barred absolutely from marriage, and any marriage they attempted was invalid. Those who made simple vows were obliged not to marry, but if they did break their vow, after publication of the 1917 Code, many institutes with simple vows appealed to the Holy See for permission to make solemn vows. The Apostolic Constitution Sponsa Christi of 21 November 1950 made access to that permission easier for nuns, many of these latter institutes of women petitioned for the solemn vow of poverty alone. It has accordingly dropped the language of the 1917 code and uses the term religious institute to designate all such institutes of consecrated life alike. Thus the Church no longer draws the distinction between religious orders and congregations. It applies to all such institutes the single name religious institute, a religious order is characterized by an authority structure where a superior general has jurisdiction over the orders dependent communities.
An exception is the Order of St Benedict which is not an order in this technical sense, because it has a system of independent houses. However, the Constitutions governing the global independent houses and its distinct congregations were approved by the pope. The Canons Regular of Saint Augustine are in a similar to that of the Benedictines. They are organized in eight congregations, each headed by an abbot general, and the Cistercians are in thirteen congregations, each headed by an abbot general or an abbot president, but do not use the title of abbot primate. The Annuario Pontificio lists for both men and women the institutes of consecrated life and the like that are of pontifical right, for the men, it gives what it now calls the Historical-Juridical List of Precedence. The arrangement in this list dates back many decades and it is found, for instance, in the 1964 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, pp. 807–870, where the heading is States of Perfection
A refectory is a dining room, especially in monasteries, boarding schools, and academic institutions. One of the places the term is most often used today is in graduate seminaries and it derives from the Latin reficere to remake or restore, via Late Latin refectorium, which means a place one goes to be restored. Communal meals are the times when all monks of an institution are together and eating habits differ somewhat by monastic order, and more widely by schedule. The Rule of St Benedict orders two meals, dinner is provided for year-round, supper is served from late spring to early fall, except for Wednesdays and Fridays. The diet originally consisted of simple fare, two dishes, with fruit as a course if available. The food was simple, with the meat of mammals forbidden to all, moderation in all aspects of diet is the spirit of Benedicts law. Meals are eaten in silence, facilitated sometimes by hand signals, a single monk might read from the Scriptures or writings of the saints aloud during the meals.
Refectories vary in size and dimension, based primarily on wealth and size of the monastery, monks eat at long benches, important officials sit at raised benches at one end of the hall. A lavabo, or large basin for hand-washing usually stands outside the refectory, in England, the refectory is generally built on an undercroft on the side of the cloister opposite the church. Benedictine models are generally laid out on an east–west axis. Norman refectories could be as large as 160 feet long by 35 feet wide, even relatively early refectories might have windows, but these became larger and more elaborate in the high medieval period. The refectory at Cluny Abbey was lit through thirty-six large glazed windows, the twelfth-century abbey at Mont Saint-Michel had six windows, five feet wide by twenty feet high. In Eastern Orthodox monasteries, the Trapeza is considered a sacred place, some services are intended to be performed specifically in the Trapeza. There is always at least one Icon with a lampada kept burning in front of it, the service of the Lifting of the Panagia is performed at the end of meals.
During Bright Week, this service is replaced with the Lifting of the Artos, in some monasteries, the Ceremony of Forgiveness at the beginning of Great Lent is performed in the Trapeza. All food served in the Trapeza should be blessed, and for that purpose and this usage is particularly prevalent in Church of England buildings, which use the takings to supplement their income. Many universities in the UK call their student cafeteria or dining facilities the refectory, the term is rare at American colleges, although Brown University calls its main dining hall the Sharpe Refectory. Refectory table Adams, Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres and Dying in England, 1100-1450
Probation in criminal law is a period of supervision over an offender, ordered by a court instead of serving time in prison. In some jurisdictions, the term only applies to community sentences. In others, probation includes supervision of those released from prison on parole. An offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, during the period of probation an offender faces the threat of being incarcerated if found breaking the rules set by the court or probation officer. The probationer might be ordered as well to refrain from contact with the victims, with victims of similar crimes, or with known criminals. Additionally, the restrictions can include a ban on possession or use of alcoholic beverages, offenders on probation might be fitted with an electronic tag, which signals their whereabouts to officials. Also, offenders have been ordered to submit to repeat alcohol/drug testing or to participate in alcohol/drug or psychological treatment, the concept of probation, from the Latin, testing, has historical roots in the practice of judicial reprieve.
In English common law, prior to the advent of democratic rule, at first, most notably Peter Oxenbridge Thatcher of Boston, used release on recognizance or bail and simply refrained from taking any further action. In 1878 the mayor of Boston had hired a police officer. By the mid-19th century, many Federal Courts were using a judicial reprieve to suspend sentence, in 1916, the United States Supreme Court, in the Killets Decision, held that a Federal Judge was without power to suspend a sentence indefinitely. This decision led to the passing of the National Probation Act of 1925, allowing courts to suspend the imposition of incarceration, Probation developed from the efforts of a philanthropist, John Augustus, who looked for ways to rehabilitate the behavior of criminals. Massachusetts developed the first statewide probation system in 1878, and by 1920,21 other states had followed suit, with the passage of the National Probation Act on March 5,1925, signed by President Calvin Coolidge, the U. S.
Federal Probation Service was established. Known as the Interstate Compact For the Supervision of Parolees and Probationers, by 1951, all the states in the United States of America had a working probation system and ratified the Interstate Compact Agreement. In 1959, the new states of Alaska and Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of the Virgin Islands, Guam, in the United States, most probation agencies have armed officers. In 39 states and federal probation, such arming is either mandated or optional, arming is allowed in an increasing number of jurisdictions. Probation officers are officers who possess limited police powers. Intensive probation, home detention, GPS monitoring, Computer Management These are highly intrusive forms of probation in which the offender is very closely monitored and it is common for violent criminals, higher-ranking gang members, habitual offenders, and sex offenders to be supervised at this level. Under terms of this kind of probation, a client may not change their living address, GPS monitoring and home detention are common in juvenile cases, even if the underlying delinquency is minor
A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone. A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church or temple, a monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, cloister, library and infirmary. These may include a hospice, a school and a range of agricultural and manufacturing such as a barn. In English usage, the monastery is generally used to denote the buildings of a community of monks. In modern usage, convent tends to be applied only to institutions of female monastics, historically, a convent denoted a house of friars, now more commonly called a friary. Various religions may apply these terms in specific ways. The earliest extant use of the term monastērion is by the 1st century AD Jewish philosopher Philo in On The Contemplative Life, in England the word monastery was applied to the habitation of a bishop and the cathedral clergy who lived apart from the lay community.
Most cathedrals were not monasteries, and were served by canons secular, some were run by monasteries orders, such as York Minster. Westminster Abbey was for a time a cathedral, and was a Benedictine monastery until the Reformation. They are to be distinguished from collegiate churches, such as St Georges Chapel, in most of this article, the term monastery is used generically to refer to any of a number of types of religious community. In the Roman Catholic religion and to some extent in certain branches of Buddhism, there is a more specific definition of the term. Buddhist monasteries are generally called vihara, viharas may be occupied by males or females, and in keeping with common English usage, a vihara populated by females may often be called a nunnery or a convent. However, vihara can refer to a temple, in Tibetan Buddhism, monasteries are often called gompa. In Thailand and Cambodia, a monastery is called a wat, in Burma, a monastery is called a kyaung. A Christian monastery may be an abbey, or a priory and it may be a community of men or of women.
A charterhouse is any monastery belonging to the Carthusian order, in Eastern Christianity, a very small monastic community can be called a skete, and a very large or important monastery can be given the dignity of a lavra. The great communal life of a Christian monastery is called cenobitic, as opposed to the life of an anchorite. In Hinduism monasteries are called matha, koil, or most commonly an ashram, jains use the Buddhist term vihara
A priest or priestess, is a person authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They have the authority or power to administer religious rites, in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of and their office or position is the priesthood, a term which may apply to such persons collectively. The necessity to read sacred texts and keep temple or church records helped foster literacy in early societies. Priests exist in many religions today, such as all or some branches of Judaism, the question of which religions have a priest depends on how the titles of leaders are used or translated into English. In some cases, leaders are more like those that other believers will often turn to for advice on spiritual matters, for example, clergy in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are priests, but in Protestant Christianity they are typically minister and pastor. The terms priest and priestess are sufficiently generic that they may be used in a sense to describe the religious mediators of an unknown or otherwise unspecified religion.
In many religions, being a priest or priestess is a full-time position, many Christian priests and pastors choose or are mandated to dedicate themselves to their churches and receive their living directly from their churches. In other cases it is a part-time role, for example, in the early history of Iceland the chieftains were titled goði, a word meaning priest. In some religions, being a priest or priestess is by election or human choice. In Judaism the priesthood is inherited in familial lines, in a theocracy, a society is governed by its priesthood. The word priest, is derived from Greek, via Latin presbyter. Old High German has the disyllabic priester, apparently derived from Latin independently via Old French presbtre, the Latin presbyter ultimately represents Greek presbyteros, the regular Latin word for priest being sacerdos, corresponding to Greek hiereus. That English should have only the term priest to translate presbyter. The feminine English noun, was coined in the 17th century, in the 20th century, the word was used in controversies surrounding the ordination of women.
In the case of the ordination of women in the Anglican communion, it is common to speak of priests. In historical polytheism, a priest administers the sacrifice to a deity, in the Ancient Near East, the priesthood acted on behalf of the deities in managing their property. Priestesses in antiquity often performed sacred prostitution, and in Ancient Greece, some such as Pythia, priestess at Delphi. Sumerian and Akkadian Entu or EN were top-ranking priestesses who were distinguished with special ceremonial attire and they owned property, transacted business, and initiated the hieros gamos ceremony with priests and kings
In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin is a woman who has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity in the service of God. Consecrated virgins are to spend their time in works of penance and mercy, in activity and in prayer, according to their state of life. Consecrated virgins should not be confused with consecrated hermits and anchorites, the Christian concept originated in the Vestal Virgins of ancient Roman religion. A life of virginity for the sake of Jesus and the Church, according to Catholic and Orthodox thought, the first sacred virgin was Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was consecrated by the Holy Spirit during the Annunciation. Tradition has it that the Apostle Matthew consecrated virgins, apostolic era virgins either continued to live with their own family or lived in a private house, because this form of life predated the foundation of religious orders. A number of early Christian martyrs were women or girls who had given themselves to Christ in perpetual virginity, such as Saint Agnes and Saint Lucy.
During the Middle Ages, the Rite of Consecration of a virgin who lived in the world gradually fell into disuse although individual bishops continued to bestow the consecration to some virgins. At the same time, the rite of consecration was maintained by nuns in monastic orders, such as the Benedictines and this consecration could be done either concurrently with or some time after the profession of solemn vows. It has been speculated by scholars that this is a vestige of the Order of deacon, in 1963 the Second Vatican Council requested a revision of the rite of the consecration of virgins that was found in the Roman Pontifical. The revised Rite was approved by Pope Paul VI and published in 1970 and this consecration could be bestowed either on women in monastic orders or on women living in the world, which revived the form of life that had been found in the early Church. Indeed, no vows are made or received in the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity for Women Living in the World, the bishop who confers the consecration, by his ministry makes the virgin a sacred person.
The virgin who receives the consecration is elevated to the consecrated state and she becomes a member of the Order of Virgins, just as deacons belong to the Order of Deacons. In 1972 Elizabeth Bailey became the first virgin to be consecrated in England since the 3rd century and this consecration is a sacramental which may be bestowed on nuns or women living in the world. Nuns who have received this consecration are still referred to as nuns and not as consecrated virgins, the approved liturgical rite whereby the bishop consecrates the candidate is by the solemn rite of Consecratio Virginium. The usual minister of the rite of consecration is the bishop who is the local ordinary, the woman is committed, not only to perpetual virginity, but to leading a life of prayer and service, and is strongly advised to observe the Liturgy of the Hours. The legislation outlining this was provided in the most recent Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church, in order to observe their commitment more faithfully and to perform by mutual support service to the Church which is in harmony with their state these virgins can form themselves into associations.
Consecrated virgins belong to consecrated life and they are not supported financially by their bishop, but must provide for their own upkeep. These women work in professions ranging from teachers and attorneys to that of firefighter, some lead lives of contemplation as hermits
Consecrated life, in the canon law of the Catholic Church, is a stable form of Christian living by those faithful who are called to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way recognized by the Church. It is characterized by the profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity. The Benedictine vow as laid down in the Rule of Saint Benedict,58,17, is analogous to the more usual vow of religious institutes. Consecrated persons are not part of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, unless they are ordained bishops and they led lives dedicated to God, each in his own way. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, thus the Church, by virtue of her authority, gladly accepted and approved them. Consecrated life may be lived either in institutes or individually, while those living it are either clergy or lay people, the state of consecrated life is neither clerical nor lay by nature. Institutes of consecrated life are either religious institutes or secular institutes and they manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ.
Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One. Sacred virgins are one of oldest forms of consecrated life, and they share with the Church her own title of Virgin and Mother and have a specifically spousal vocation with Jesus Christ. Consecrated virgins have come from all walks of life and their numbers include a Doctor of the Church, consecrated widows may be established who, like virgins, profess chastity apart from the world by a public profession. These women and men, through a vow of chastity as a sign of the Kingdom of God, consecrate their state of life in order to devote themselves to prayer. The Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches envisage new forms of consecrated life being approved by the Holy See, societies of apostolic life are dedicated to pursuit of an apostolic purpose, such as educational or missionary work.
They resemble institutes of consecrated life but are distinct from them, the members do not take religious vows, but live in common, striving for perfection through observing the constitutions of the society to which they belong. Some societies of apostolic life, but not all of them, although societies of apostolic life may in externals resemble religious life, a major distinction is that they are not themselves consecrated and their state of life does not change. Each major development in life, particularly in the Latin West. The Greek word for desert, gave this form of living the name eremitic life. Though the eremitic life would eventually be overshadowed by the far more numerous vocations to the cenobitic life, the Middle Ages saw the emergence of a variant of the hermit, the anchorite, and life in Carthusian and Camaldolese monasteries has an eremitic emphasis. The Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox Churches have their own eremitic traditions, the eremitic life was apparently healthy for some, but led to imbalance in others