Magicians Look-alike, The Angelic Image Of Highest Monastic Dignity Called Great Schema

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(From Wiki) Great Schema (Greek: μεγαλόσχημος, megaloschemos; Church Slavonic: Схима, Schima)—Monks whose abbots feel they have reached a high level of spiritual excellence reach the final stage, called the Great Schema. The tonsure of a Schemamonk or Schemanun follows the same format as the Stavrophore, and he makes the same vows and is tonsured in the same manner. But in addition to all the garments worn by the Stavrophore, he is given theanalavos (Church Slavonic: analav) which is the article of monastic vesture emblematic of the Great Schema.

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Saint Jonah of Kyiv

For this reason, the analavos itself is sometimes itself called the “Great Schema”. It drapes over the shoulders and hangs down in front and in back, with the front portion somewhat longer, and is embroidered with the instruments of the Passion and the Trisagion. The Greek form does not have a hood, the Slavic form has a hood and lappets on the shoulders, so that the garment forms a large cross covering the monk’s shoulders, chest, and back.

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The Great Schema in the Orthodox Church requires the traditional monastic vows, plus special spiritual feats. According to Archpriest G. S. Debolsky: “In the understanding of the Church, the Great Schema is nothing less than the supreme vow of the Cross and death; it is the image of complete isolation from the earth, the image of transformation and transfiguration of life, the image of death and the beginning of another, higher, existence.”

As a monastic dignity, the Great Schema has been known since the 4th century. According to an ancient legend, this dignity was inaugurated by St. Pachomios the Great. However, as a form of monastic life, the Great Schema goes back to the origin of Christianity. Those who followed Christ’s teachings on supreme spiritual perfection by voluntarily taking the vows of chastity, obedience and poverty were called ascetics to distinguish them from other Christians. They led a harsh and secluded hermit’s life like St. John the Baptist, or like our Lord Jesus Christ Himself during his forty days in the desert.

According to the Rule of St. Pachomios, the act of acceptance into a monastery had three steps and consisted of (a) “temptation” (trial), (b) clothing, and (c) presentation to the starets for spiritual guidance. Each of the three steps undoubtedly had its own significance. They marked the beginning of the three stages in monasticism which have become deeply embedded in the life of the Eastern Church: first, the novice (or rasoforos); the second, the monk (known as a monk of the Lesser Schema); and the third, the monk of the Great Schema.

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Eastern Orthodox monk Parpheny Ageev, 1840-1850.

Monastic life elevates a monk to spiritual perfection in the spirit of Christ’s love and, by living in this love, bears light and spiritual warmth to the world.
By withdrawing from the world, a monk does not express contempt for it, but, on the contrary, acquires a perfect love for the world, a pure love in Christ which is alien to worldly passions. By turning away from vanity the monk strives to perceive himself and his impotence, and to fortify himself spiritually through prayer to God.

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The Great Schema in the Orthodox Church requires the same traditional vows, plus special spiritual feats. “In the understanding of the Church, the Great Schema is nothing less than the supreme vow of the Cross and death; it is the image of complete isolation from the earth, the image of transformation and transfiguration of life, the image of death and the beginning of another, higher, existence.”
As a monastic dignity, the Great Schema has been known since the 4th century. According to an ancient legend, this dignity was inaugurated by St. Pachomius the Great. However, as a form of monastic life, the Great Schema goes back to the origin of Christianity.

Those who followed Christ’s teachings on supreme spiritual perfection by voluntarily taking the vows of chastity, obedience and poverty were called ascetics to distinguish them from other Christians. They led a harsh and secluded hermit’s life like St. John the Baptist, or like our Lord Jesus Christ Himself during his forty days in the desert.
By the 4th century, Christian asceticism had taken two forms-the anchoritic or hermitic, and the communal or cenobitic.
From ancient times the Holy Church has sanctified both forms of monasticism as equally valid in terms of their purpose-spiritual perfection. The difference between them lies not in their essence but in the nature of their activities; it is determined by the intentions and abilities of the monk, and, to a certain extent, by external circumstances.

Thus, the name of St. Antony the Great is linked with the isolated hermitic life, the so-called contemplative monasticism. On the other hand, the name of St. Pachomius, an ascetic of the same era (4th century), is associated with the appearance of communal monastic life-so-called cenobitism. It is evident from their lives how miraculously and providentially the two forms of monasticism were organized. The main vow, one that is common to both forms of monasticism, is that of obedience either to a starets (if the monk is leading a hermitic life) or to a hegumen (if he is living in a cenobitic monastery).”

great schema mainThe analavos of the Great Schema monks are the signs of perfect monasticism, symbols not only of humble wisdom and gentleness, but also of the Cross, of suffering, of Christ’s wounds, of constant dying with Christ. The άνάλαβος (analavos) is the distinctive garment of a monk or a nun tonsured into the highest grade of Orthodox monasticism, the Great Schema, and 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” (Luke 9:23). The ornately-plaited Crosses that cover the analavos, the polystavrion (πολυσταύριον, from πολύς, “many,” and σταυρός, “Cross”) — a name often, though less accurately, also applied to the analavos — reminds the monastic that he or she is “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20).

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 Video with Great Schema Tribute:

Source: eldermountainyoutube.comjohnsanidopouloslegrandcirque.tumblrcitydesert.wordpress,

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