Meeting The Orthodox (Page 7 of 25)

Read time: 40 mins
By: Fr. Thomas Hopko
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7. Monks and Nuns

You mentioned monks. Does the Orthodox Church have monks and nuns?

There are both monks and nuns in Orthodoxy, and monasticism has traditionally played a very important role in the life of the Orthodox Church.

The monastic men and women in Orthodoxy are usually restricted to monasteries and do not normally participate in the active ministry of the Church. This is so since the monastic vocation of contemplation and prayer is considered to be a unique calling quite different from that of being a pastor, teacher, nurse, or social worker. Normally the monastic vocation is a lay vocation with each monastery having just one or two priests to care for the sacramental life of the community.

In America there are few well-functioning monastic communities. In the old world, however, recent years have seen a renewal of monasticism particularly among the more educated members of the Church.


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