The first monastic tonsure of Great Lent

On March 17, 2023, Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas performed the first monastic tonsure of this year in the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery at the end of the evening service.

Monasticism is about following Christ in all His earthly ways. A monk accepts a promise from the Savior that he shares with the Lord the bitter cup He must drink: he will also travel through the darkness of Gethsemane, experiencing fear and terror of physical death, and through death itself, first accepted at Baptism, and later at monastic tonsure, and will follow Christ in His descent to hell. But, at the end of his travel, instead of days of passions and the soul-crushing cry, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46), what awaits him is the glorious Resurrection and Ascension.

Today, the sisters of Diveyevo, Nun Melania, Nun Neonilla and Nun Nazaria set off on this sorrowful, yet joyful, path of salvation.

The archpastor handed the newly tonsured nuns in the care of their spiritual mother Hegumenia Sergia and said the following as parting words: “Our sisters, Nun Melania, Nun Neonilla, Nun Nazaria! Today the Lord willed for you to receive the full order of monastic vows.

He brought all of you to the holy monastery, the Fourth Lot of the Mother of God, and, responding to His call, you crossed the threshold of this holy place, where the main deeds are fasting, prayer, and vigilance. When our Savior fasted in the wilderness, undergoing the devil’s temptations, He said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

The enemy of mankind does everything so that we choose preference of daily bread, thus ignoring the word of God, in other words, rejecting the utmost values every true Christian must aspire to for the sake of earthly and transitory riches.  Trials such as these are unavoidable by someone who chooses the path to serve God, and it means that you too will experience temptations during your life.

Today the Lord has lighted a lamp of your soul for a life of prayer, and you are to pay the utmost effort to make sure its flame will never be extinguished in your hearts and nothing can turn you away from the word of God.”

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