TONSURE

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TONSURE – The tonsure, which is the cutting of hair from the head in the sign of the cross, is the sign that the person completely offers himself to God — hair being the symbol of strength (Jud 16:17). Thus, until the fifteenth century the clergy of the Orthodox Church — the “professional Christians,” so to speak — wore the tonsure all their lives to show that their strength was in God.

As Christians we are called to offer our entire life to the Lord. As a symbolic first-offering, the candidate?s hair is cut. Hair, in the Biblical story of Samson is equated with strength; thus the hair offered stands for all the person’s strength and potentials given over to God.