Symbols of holy orders


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Symbols of holy orders

  1. 1. Holy Orders Psalm 109:4 "The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech." John 20:19-23 "Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut,where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. Thedisciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you.As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." Acts 6:3,6 "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business...These they set before the apostles; and they praying, imposed hands upon them." II Timothy 1:6 (St. Paul to Timothy, whom he ordained) "For which cause I admonish thee, that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee, by the imposition of my hands."St. Francis of Assisi (later quoted by St. John Vianney): "If I saw an Angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the Angel." 1In the Latin Church, there are seven clerical orders, all mentioned together in the Historical record byEusebius (b. A.D. 260) in the 43rd Chapter of the 6th Book of his "Church History." The lowest 5 areecclesiastical in origin; the higher two are of divine origin. The seven orders are, in descending rank:  The 3 Major or "Sacred" Orders: o I: Priests:  Bishops: The First Degree of the Priesthood: Bishops have the greatest authority and jurisdiction (aside from Popes and
  2. 2. Patriarchs), and have the powers to ordain men into the diaconate and priesthood, and to offer the Sacrament of Confirmation (this last power they can delegate to a priest), to dedicate churches and altars, to consecrate chalices and patens and bells, and to preside at the benediction of abbots. They are said to exercise the fullness of the priesthood. The symbol of this office is the mitre.  Priests: The Second Degree of the Priesthood The duties and powers of the priest are to confect the Eucharist at the Mass; offer the Sacraments of Penance, Communion, and Unction; to preside at the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony; to solemnly baptize; to preach; to teach, guide, and sanctify his sheep. With ordination to the priesthood, a man has received the fullness of the Sacrament of Order. The symbols of this office are the stole, the chasuble, a paten with bread on it, and a Chalice filled with wine. o II: Deacons: The duties of the deacon are to handle the sacred vessels, to be of service to the priests and Bishops (inside and outside of the liturgy), to read the Epistle and Gospel at the Mass, to be general stewards, and to serve the widows and orphans. This Order is Sacramental, and the first of the three divinely-instituted grades of the hierarchy of Orders, the others being the priesthood and the episcopate. The symbols of this office are the dalmatic, the stole (worn over the left shoulder, as opposed to around the neck as priests wear them, and under the dalmatic), and the Book of the Gospels. o III: Subdeacons: The duties of a subdeacon are to serve the deacon at Mass; to prepare the bread, wine, and sacred vessels for the Sacrifice; to present the chalice and paten at the Offertory, and pour water into the wine for the Eucharist; to chant the Epistle; and to wash the sacred linens. This office is non-sacramental, but it is now that the vow of celibacy is taken. The symbols of this order are the empty Chalice and the paten, basin and towel, two little cruets, and the book of epistles.  The 4 Minor Orders: o IV: Acolytes: The duties of the acolyte are to light the Altar candles, carry the candles in procession, prepare the water and wine for the Mass, and assist the priest during the Mass The symbols of this order are the candle, the cruet, and a linen bag. (Note that altar boys are sometimes designated "acolytes" and fulfill the duties of the acolyte during the Mass.) o V: Exorcists: In the early Church, the duty of the exorcist was to cast out demons. Now that duty belongs to the priest alone, but this minor order is kept in traditional priestly societies nonetheless. The symbol for this order is the book containing the Rite of Exorcism. o VI: Lectors (Readers): The duty of the lector is to chant the Epistle when Mass is sung without a deacon and subdeacon. The symbol of this order is the Book of the Epistles. o VII: Porters (Doorkeepers or Ostiaries or Sextons): The duties of the porter are to ring the bells, to open the church and sacristy, and to open the book for the priest. Most of these duties have passed to the laity, such as sacristans, etc., but in traditional priestly orders, this clerical order is kept as an office and stepping-stone toward the priesthood. The symbol for this order is keys.A man who is to become a priest first receives the "tonsure" -- i.e., he is received into the clerical state bybeing given a surplice and having hair shorn away at the crown of the head (over the last 400 years orso, the hair-shearing has passed out of use due to Protestant persecutions). With the tonsure, hebecomes a cleric, but still has not received the Sacrament of Orders.The tonsured cleric is then ordained to each of the Orders above, one at a time, receiving the power ofeach office, and ascending up through the ranks until he is raised to the dignity of the priesthood, atwhich time he receives the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.Those of the Minor Orders are not obligated to pray the Divine Office or bound to the rule of celibacy (butif they marry they lose their office); however, once the Major Orders are entered into, there is no goingback, and from the level of deacon on up, the actual Sacrament of Orders is received. Deacons receivepartial fruits of the Sacrament, priests receive the totality of the Sacrament, with only Bishops having
  3. 3. more authority.The Sacrament ItselfHere I will focus on the elevation of men to the dignity of the priesthood.Holy Orders is the Sacrament by which men become priests and are given a sacred power (sacrapotestas) to act in total sacramental identification with Christ (i.e., to act in persona Christi) in orderconfect Christs Body and offer it up to the Father at the Mass for the remission of sins; to forgive sinsthrough the Sacrament of Penance; to solemnly baptize; to preside during the Sacrament of HolyMatrimony; to offer Unction to the dying; to preach; and to otherwise teach, guide, and sanctify theirsheep. With -- and only with -- the permission of his Bishop, he may be delegated to offer the Sacramentof Confirmation, but to the Bishop alone is reserved the power to ordain other priests (though a priestmay be delgated to ordain men to the sub-diaconate and the minor orders).As in Baptism and Confirmation, the Sacrament of Holy Orders leaves an indelible mark on the soul ofthe recipient and can never be repeated once validly received; once a priest, always a priest (even if apriest is laicized and removed from his office, this mark remains).As said, the minister of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is the Bishop, and the matter of the Sacrament isthe imposition of hands, which takes place during the beautiful ceremony of ordination. The form of theSacrament is the words:Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty Father, to these Thy servants, the dignity of the Priesthood; renewthe spirit of holiness within them, so that they may hold from Thee, O God, the office of the second rankin Thy service and by the example of their behavior afford a pattern of holy living.Latin:Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Pater, in hos famulos tuos presbyterii dignitatem. Innova in visceribuseorum spiritum sanctitatis, ut acceptum a te, Deus, secundi meriti munus obtineant; censuramquemorum exemplo suae conversationis insinuent.The recipient of the Sacrament must be a baptized, healthy male, at least 25 years of age, who has avocation from God, a strong Catholic faith, intelligence, a good moral character, and a life marked bysanctity. He must be committed to living a celibate and chaste life, and to prayer (especially the DivineOffice, which he is obligated to pray), and must have been properly formed in seminary.Traditional priestly formation, such as that undertaken by seminarians of the S.S.P.X., lasts for 6 yearsand includes a thorough study of Latin, liturgy, liturgical chant, philosophy, Theology, Church History,moral Theology, dogmatic Theology, and Canon Law. During the first year, they receive the cassock;during the second, the tonsure; during the third and fourth, they are ascend through the minor orders; inthe fifth, they are ordained to the sub-diaconate and then the diaconate; and after the sixth, they areordained priests. The seminarians days are heavily scheduled, much like a monks, with daily Mass, theDivine Office, classes, private study, and community devotions.Not all priests work in dioceses. Typically, those who do are called "secular priests" or "diocesan priests,"and most of these work in parishes and, so, are also called "parish priests." Secular priests makepromises of chastity and obedience to the local Ordinary (no promise of poverty is made). Other priestsbelong to religious orders (e.g., the Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.) and offer Mass for thepeople of their religious order. These men are called "religious priests" (though sometimes a "religiouspriest" might work for a parish in some cases). Religious priests make the solemn vows of poverty,chastity, and obedience to the superiors of their religious community that all members of their Ordermake.The Rite of OrdinationThe Rite of Ordination, which you can watch online in video here (will open in new browser window), is
  4. 4. as follows (taken from the Catholic Encyclopdia):All the candidates...present themselves in the church with tonsure and in clerical dress, carrying thevestments of the order to which they are to be raised, and lighted candles. They are all summoned byname, each candidate answering "Adsum". When a general ordination takes place the tonsure is givenafter the Introit or Kyrie, the minor orders after the Gloria, subdiaconate after the Collect, the diaconateafter the Epistle, priesthood after Alleluia and Tract. After the Tract of the Mass the archdeaconsummons all who are to receive the priesthood. The candidates, vested in amice, alb, girdle, stole, andmaniple, with folded chasuble on left arm and a candle in their right hand, go forward and kneel aroundthe bishop. The latter inquires of the archdeacon, who is here the representative of the Church as itwere, whether the candidates are worthy to be admitted to the priesthood. The archdeacon answers inthe affirmative and his testimony represents the testimony of fitness given in ancient times by the clergyand people. The bishop, then charging the congregation and insisting upon the reasons why "the Fathersdecreed that the people also should be consulted", asks that, if anyone has anything to say to theprejudice of the candidates, he should come forward and state it.The bishop then instructs and admonishes the candidates as to the duties of their new office. He kneelsdown in front of the altar; the ordinandi lay themselves prostrate on the carpet, and the Litany of theSaints is chanted or recited. On the conclusion of the Litany, all arise, the candidates come forward, andkneel in pairs before the bishop while he lays both hands on the head of each candidate in silence. Thesame is done by all priests who are present. Whilst bishop and priests keep their right hands extended,the former alone recites a prayer, inviting all to pray to God for a blessing on the candidates. After thisfollows the Collect and then the bishop says the Preface, towards the end of which occurs the prayer,"Grant, we beseech Thee etc." The bishop then with appropriate formulæ crosses the stole over thebreast of each one and vests him with the chasuble. This is arranged to hang down in front but is foldedbehind. Though there is no mention of the stole in many of the most ancient Pontificals, there can be nodoubt of its antiquity. The vesting with the chasuble is also very ancient and found already in Mabillon"Ord. VIII and IX." Afterwards the bishop recites a prayer calling down Gods blessing on the newly-ordained. He then intones the "Veni Creator", and whilst it is being sung by the choir he anoints thehands of each with the oil of catechumens......The bishop then hands to each the chalice, containing wine and water, with a paten and a host upon it.This rite, with its corresponding formula,.. [signifying] the power which has already been received, is notfound in the oldest rituals and probably dates back not earlier than the ninth or tenth century. When thebishop has finished the Offertory of the Mass, he seats himself before the middle of the altar and each ofthose ordained make an offering to him of a lighted candle. The newly-ordained priests then repeat theMass with him, all saying the words of consecration simultaneously. Before the Communion the bishopgives the kiss of peace to one of the newly-ordained. After the Communion the priests again approachthe bishop and say the Apostles Creed. The bishop laying his hands upon each says: "Receive ye theHoly Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, theyare retained." ...The chasuble is then folded, the newly-ordained make a promise of obedience andhaving received the kiss of peace, return to their place.It is customary for those who attend the priests Ordination and/or first Mass to kiss the palms of hishands which have been consecrated by holy oils. Palm-kissing at either time results in an indulgence of100 days under the usual conditions. An indulgence of 7 years, under the usual conditions, wastraditionally received for piously attending a priests first Mass -- the indulgence having been plenary ifthe one attending is related to the third degree to the newly-ordained priest. Indulgenced or not, kissing anewly-ordained priests hands is the traditional practice. To do so, kneel on the left knee (or bowprofoundly if kneeling is not an option) and kiss the palm of each hand.Changes in the RiteIn the Novus Ordo rite, the minor orders have been done away with and the diaconate has been changed
  5. 5. from a "transitional diaconate" (a stepping-stone on the way toward the priesthood) to a "permanentdiaconate" which can include married men. It is my opinion that this will harm the priesthood horribly bygetting people used to seeing married men in the sanctuary, encouraging calls for a married priesthood("Why not? You let deacons marry now!"), and, at the least, turning clerically-minded men away from thepriesthood and toward the "permanent diaconate" where the sacrifices one must make are less severe.Priestly formation is generally scandalous, often overseen by radical Modernists and homosexualists.Orthodox seminarians are often intentionally weeded out by those whove assumed "gate-keeper"positions in "vocational ministries." Latin is not stressed at all, Gregorian chant is forgotten, and the verynature of the priesthood is treated differently than in traditional seminaries, mostly stemming from ananimus against the very existence of hierarchy, and a changed definition of the Mass (i.e., from anunbloody Sacrifice -- the Offering of the Son to the Father for the remission of sins -- to a "celebratorymeal" as per the new "Paschal Theology").In addition, there has been a change of sacramental form in the new rite: the removal of the Latin "ut" --"so that" -- in the words of ordination, a change that, at the least, fails to convey the idea of asacramental effect. Also, the prayers, admonitions, and blessings included in the ordination ceremonyreflect a new idea of the priesthood itself, even to the point that the priests hands are no longerconsecrated and the prayer, "Receive the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiventhem; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained" has been abolished.The Saints on the PriesthoodPlease read these words of the Saints on the most glorious topic of the priesthood: St. John Chrysostom: Treatise on the Priesthood (excerpt) St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests: Catechism on the Priesthood St. Alphonsus Liguori: The Dignity & Duties of the Priest (excerpt)Finally...Pray for vocations and encourage any priestly vocation your sons might have.Teach your children to have the utmost respect for priests, by word and yourown behavior. Dont call a priest by his first name; he should be addressed as,for example, "Father Manzione" or simply "Father." He should enjoy the place ofhonor (barring the presence of higher ranking hierarchs) at social gatherings.Kiss his hands to show reverence for the Eucharist. Let your sons see that to bea priest is to answer Gods highest calling, and that the fruits of the priesthoodare His merciful gifts to us. In this way vocations are nurtured and Gods peoplecan continue to be nourished with the very Body of Christ.And pray for priests, who give us so much! O God, Who hast appointed Thine only- Deus, Qui ad maiestatis tuae gloriam et generis begotten Son to be the eternal High Priest for humani salutem, Unigenitum Tuum summum the glory of Thy Majesty and the salvation of atque aeternum constituisti Sacerdotem: mankind; grant that they whom He hath chosen praesta, ut quos ministros et Mysteriorum to be His ministers and the stewards of His suorum dispensatores elegit, in accepto Mysteries, may be found faithful in the ministerio adimplendo fideles inveniantur. Per fulfillment of the ministry which they have eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. received. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.Footnotes:1 Eusuebius, born in A.D. 260, is actually quoting a letter written by St. Cornelius to the future Pope St.
  6. 6. Fabian. Pope St. Fabian was martyred on 20 January, A.D. 250, so the reference to the 7 Clerical Orders is older than that date. After the martyrdom of Pope St. Fabian, St. Cornelius became Pope until he, too, was martyred in A.D. 253. What is Holy Orders? Holy Orders is the Sacrament of Ordination. In this Sacrament, a man can be ordained a deacon, a priest, or a bishop. This is one of the three sacraments that leaves an indelible (non-removable) mark on the soul. The other two are Baptism and Confirmation. What are the Symbols for this Sacrament? Oil is one symbol for this Sacrament because it is used to anoint the hands of a man being ordained to the priesthood. Other symbols include hands (because this Sacrament is conferred through the laying on of hands), a crucifix, and a book of the Gospels (because the men being ordained will be preaching God’s Word). What Does this Sacrament Do? This Sacrament validly ordains a man to either the diaconate (deacons), the priesthood, or the episcopal office (bishops). So, let’s analyze some examples of what that means for each case. Deacons The man is now part of the clergy of the Catholic Church The man can read from the Book of the Gospels at Mass (laypeople cannot do this) The man can preach a homily (laypeople cannot do this) The man can administer a communion service (but cannot consecrate) The man can celebrate (witness) a marriage for a couple/perform a baptism as a member of the clergy Priests (note: a person is ordained to the diaconate first and is then ordained a priest) The man can do everything a validly ordained deacon can do The man can now hear confessions The man can now consecrate the bread and wine at Mass (only a priest or higher member of the clergy can preside at Mass and make Christ truly present in the Eucharist) The man can now celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (deacons may not do this) The man can now celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation Bishops The man can do everything a validly ordained deacon or priest can do The man is now in charge of an entire diocese, not just one parish The man can now ordain
  7. 7. Who Can Celebrate this Sacrament?Any validly ordained bishop can celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Orders.Why Won’t the Catholic Church Ordain Women?Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. I’m pretty sure this is the question everyone wants an answer to, right? Well,let me get right down to it, then. I would hate to keep everyone in suspense.The answer to that question is this: It is not that the Catholic Church won’t ordain women, but rather that the Churchcan’t ordain women. Why? Because Christ set the example for His Church to follow, and we do not have theauthority to change what Christ established. Jesus chose twelve men to be His closest companions and He gavemen the authority to forgive sins in His Name. It is also interesting to note that when the time came for the Apostlesto choose a successor to Judas, St. Peter stood up and said that the person they chose had to be one of the menwho had accompanied them throughout their time with Christ (Acts 1:21-22). Now, women also accompanied Jesusthroughout His ministry and supported His work, and yet not one of them is even considered to succeed Judas. TheApostles all chose men to succeed them–successors who in turn chose and ordained men. Priests are also called toact in the Person of Christ (in persona Christi for all of my Latin-loving readers), and Christ was Himself a man.Why Can’t Catholic Priests Marry?Christ is the ultimate model for the priesthood, and He was celibate. In Matthew 19:12, Christ advocates celibacywhen He says that some men “renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven”.The discipline of clerical celibacy (priests not marrying) is found only in the Latin Rite of the Church, so this practiceis not universal. Priests can be married in the Latin Rite if they have converted from another faith and are alreadymarried; in such a case, a dispensation granting permission for the ordination must be obtained. However, in all ritesof the Church, a man cannot marry or re-marry after ordination and is bound to a life of celibacy (unless, of course,he leaves his position). All rites of the Church only ordain unmarried men as bishops. Lesson 28: The Sacrament of Holy Orders (Priesthood) "Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest, who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin. Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace in seasonable aid. For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that He may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because He Himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore He ought, as for the people, as also for Himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was." (Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:1-4) JESUS COMMISSIONS HIS FIRST PRIESTS
  8. 8. "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matthew 28:18-20)1. What did Jesus do to continue His work on earth? To make sure that His work be continued, Jesus established the Catholic Priesthood, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. "For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us" (2 Corinthians 5:20)2. What is the Sacrament of Holy Orders? Holy Orders is the Sacrament which gives a man the powers of the Catholic Priesthood.3. In general, what is a priest? A man who offers sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. "For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins." (Hebrews 5:1)4. Was Jesus a priest? Yes, Jesus was and is, the Great High Priest. "Wherefore it behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest before God, that He might be a propitiation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17)5. Who were the first Catholic priests? The twelve Apostles, who were ordained to the priesthood by Jesus Christ Himself.6. When did Jesus make the twelve Apostles priests? At the Last Supper, on the night before He died, when He gave them the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood. "Do this for a commemoration of me." (Luke 22:19)7. Did the Apostles make other men priests? Yes, for example, Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, and Matthias. See Acts 13:3, 14:22, 1:24-26, and Titus 1:5.8. How did the Apostles ordain other men priests? By praying for them and imposing hands on them. "Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away." (Acts 13:3)9. After the Apostles died, how were the powers of the priesthood handed down? Before they died, the Apostles made other men bishops, who in turn made other men bishops, and in this way the powers of the priesthood have been handed down during the past 2000 years.10. How are the powers of the priesthood handed down today? Today the bishops hand down the powers of the priesthood just as the Apostles did - by praying over and imposing hands on the candidates for priesthood.11. What are the chief powers of the priesthood? They are --
  9. 9. i.To offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which includes the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and... ii.To forgive sins. Other powers of the priesthood are to preach with authority, administer other Sacraments and to bless people and objects.12. Where does the authority of the priesthood come from? From Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me." (Luke 10:16)13. Who can give the Sacrament of Holy Orders? Only a bishop. "For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee." (Titus 1:5)14. What is necessary to become a priest? To become a priest, a man has to study for about 6 years in a special school called a seminary and be approved by his bishop as to his learning, health, morals, and character. "Impose not hands lightly upon any man." (1 Timothy 5:22)15. How does a man become a bishop? The Pope chooses a priest who is known for his learning and holiness and appoints other bishops to consecrate him a bishop by imposing hands and saying the proper words.16. How does a man become Pope? The Cardinals elect a successor to the dead Pope.17. Why do priests not get married? They do not marry because -- i.The single life is a holier life, recommended by Christ; ii.Being single, they can give themselves entirely to God and the care of the people. "He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided." (1 Corinthians 7:32-33)18. Why is the priest called "Father"? Because he gives the life of grace to his spiritual children, just as a father gives physical life to his children. "I write not these things to confound you; but that I admonish you as my dearest children. For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you." (1 Corinthians 4:14-15) VARIOUS TITLES IN THE CHURCH Pope The bishop of Rome, vicar of Christ on earth, successor of St. Peter, visible head of the whole Catholic Church. Cardinal An honorary title given to priests or bishops because of their important positions in the Church; Cardinals elect the new Pope. Bishop Rules over the people and priests of his diocese; can give Confirmation and Holy Orders.
  10. 10. Monsignor A priest gets this honorary title from the Pope because of his important position in the Church. Pastor Rules over a parish; is subject to the bishop of the diocese. Priest Diocesan priests work in a diocese; religious priests belong to a religious order - like the Franciscans, Dominicans, etc... Monk Monks live in a monastery, follow a strict rule under a superior - like the Benedictines and the Trappists; some are priests, others are brothers. Brother A man dedicated to teaching, hospital work or contemplation; takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but does not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Sister A woman dedicated to teaching, hospital or social work, or contemplation; takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and belongs to a religious order or community. Cloistered sisters are usually called nuns; loosely speaking, all sisters are often called nuns.