A Brief Explanation of the Symbolism of the Analabos

The άνάλαβος (Analab[v]os), which is the distinctive garment of a monk or a nun Tonsured into the highest grade of Orthodox monasticism, the Great Schema, is adorned with the instruments of the Passion of Christ. It takes its name from the Greek αναλαμβάνω («to take up»), serving as a constant reminder to the one who wears it that he or she must «take up his cross daily» (St. Luke 9:23). The ornately-plaited Crosses that cover the Analabos. the Polystavrion (πολυσταύριον, from πολύς, «many,» and σταυρός, «Cross»)—a name often, though less accurately, also applied to the Analabos—reminds the monastic that he or she is «crucified with Christ» (Galatians 2:20):

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ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MONASTICISM

vatopaidi monk

With the development of monasticism in the Church there appeared a peculiar way of life, which however did not proclaim a new morality. The Church does not have one set of moral rules for the laity and another for monks, nor does it divide the faithful into classes according to their obligations towards God. The Christian life is the same for everyone. All Christians have in common that «their being and name is from Christ»[1]. This means that the true Christian must ground his life and conduct in Christ, something which is hard to achieve in the world.

What is difficult in the world is approached with dedication in the monastic life. In his spiritual life the monk simply tries to do what every Christian should try to do: to live according to God’s commandments. The fundamental principles of monasticism are not different from those of the lives of all the faithful. This is especially apparent in the history of the early Church, before monasticism appeared. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »