The tonsure of novices to riassaphore nuns
Upon the completion of the Christmas Eve’s Matins service, the novices were tonsured to riassophore nuns at the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery.
Those wishing to dedicate themselves to God in monasticism goes through several stages, each one represented with a special kind of clothing. The monastic attire, a special sign of being espoused to Christ, reminds of the service to the Lord and signifies detachment from the world. With every new level of monasticism, the number of special garments increases and new ones are added to the existing clothing.
The order of tonsuring to the riassophore rank was performed by Hegumenia Sergiya, the Abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. Matushka first clothed every sister in riassa with a belt followed by a headdress and the skufia, and, handing over prayer beads, she blessed them with the greeting: “Christ Is in our midst!”
The newly tonsured sisters venerated the relics of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov and the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “Tenderness,” seeking their blessing for their continued life in the rank of monastics.