The Postulancy is the initial stage of formation typically in a three-month experience.
Reading and studies focus on spiritual life and monastic aspiration.
The Spiritual Director meets with the Postulant briefly from time to time to discuss his or her progress and challenges, as well as to offer guidance.
Once readiness for the Novitiate is ascertained, the Postulant prepares for the next phase of formation.
This is usually a nine to twelve month period, during which the Novice explores on a deeper level what it means to live as monastic or Oblate. The resolve and suitability of the Novice is further discerned. There is concentration on developing a solid contemplative foundation:
The Novice commits to following the Rule of St. Benedict.
The new Novice may receive a ring, lapel pin, bracelet or necklace, which he or she may wear as appropriate and wanted.
Otherwise, the Novice is asked to wear moderate clothing, preferably of darker hue.
The Brother or Sister becomes more fully acquainted with the many facets of Oblate or monastic life.
Instruction by the Spiritual Director is given on the Benedictine Rule, the Liturgical Hours (depending on individual tradition), spiritual growth and development.
The Novice continues to internalize and live by the spiritual and religious principles of monastic life.
Once ready, the Novice then may go on to the next step of Religious Vows (First & Second Oder) or Oblation (Third Order).
Profession Or Oblation
The Novice is received as full member of St. Joseph of Arimathea Orthodox Skete (or an associated Chapter). He or she may now wear the Benedictine Habit as desired and as appropriate.