Taking the Veil into Schema
|Before taking the vows. Sisters with candles|
Taking of the monastic vows, be it coenobite or monastic, ignites the zeal for piety in the whole brotherhood or sisterhood. It does so particularly in those taking the vows, but also in those who are present at this rite which in its significance is equaled to a Sacrament. During Dormition Lent the Lord granted us his special mercy: taking of monastic vows into great schema which is also called the great angelic way was done for the first time in our abode. This rite is just like the rite of the lesser schema, since, in essence, it is the repetition of the vows already given, but as a repetition it obliges to an even greater strictness of the execution of the vows, and thus is performed with greater solemnity.
|Sermon after the taking of the veil|
Great is the mystery of monasticism, this truly lifecreating self-mortification. It seems that the very words of the prayers read at the taking of the vows exceed all human comprehension. What does the person approaching the most perfect and angelic life promise? — “To be crucified and mortified to the world through a complete disavowal [of the world].” The abbot reads this in everyone’s hearing, and the one taking the vows repeats them in his or her heart: not to seek the state of the absence of sadness and rest, but to prepare oneself for spiritual feats, for abstinence of flesh, for purification of soul, for complete poverty, for good weeping, for everything sorrowful and painful. Afterwards there sound the words that only through these sorrows is it possible to achieve the true life in God: “for rejoice with joy and be merry with merriment, since today the Lord God chose you and severed you from worldly life, and put you as if before His face in the forthcoming monastic rank, in the host of angel-like life.” It is not without reasons that in the rite of taking of the vows, when the robing in monastic vestments is taking place, the cassock is called “the garment of truth and joy”, and the mantle — “the vestment of non-decay and purity.” For even though these garments are black in color and must remind of weeping and death, yet the one putting on these robes, gives the vow of obedience which grants him or her the treasure of pure conscience and brings into imperishable life.
The newly veiled sister spends several days and nights in the church, engaging in prayer and reading, partaking daily of the Lifecreating Mysteries of Christ.