The Novitiate ( Novicius of latin, freshman ' ) refers to the time of formation, is located in the one who is newly enrolled in a religious order in the training and preparation for the temporal vows. The re- admitted into the Community referred to as novice or novice.

This name is probably on the Rule of St.. Benedict back in it in chap. 58, 1 means:

" Noviter veniens quis ad conversationem, non ei facilis tribuatur Ingressus ( If a new and wants to start the monastic life, the entrance it will not easily granted. ) RB 58.1 "

In the novitiate, the novice is tested by the community, whether he is called to (the three evangelical counsels usually poverty, celibacy and obedience) to keep the vows and the ability and inclination has to live in the Order and the concrete community. Similarly, the novice is called upon to evaluate and as well as possible to know the order to come to a responsible before God, his own conscience and the superiors decide for or against the passing of the profession.

Breakfast time

In the fourth book of his work from the facilities of the monasteries, which influenced the Western monastic life greatly, reported Cassian († 435) of his Gaulish readership, as recorded the Egyptian desert fathers novices:

The other provisions ( § § 11 ff ) were all brothers together and not specifically for novices.

Legal framework

The novitiate usually begins with the outfitting and ends with the first profession. The admission to temporary profession is preceded by the formal vote of all professed or of the Council on the novices.

According to the provisions of canon law, the novitiate at least one (so-called " canonical" ) must last year, and it shall be held to be not more than one year extended ( can. 648 § 3 CIC). The novitiate is preceded by a postulate or a candidate in which the candidate can get to know within a period which may last from several months to two years, the religious life of the community. The CIC defines in detail the conditions under which a candidate can apply to enter into Novizat ( Can. 645-648 CIC) and legal barriers which may prevent this. ( can. 642 CIC).


The novices are taught by a novice master or else this -appointed member of the Convention, which has taken the solemn profession a long time ago. The lessons in the novitiate belongs, for example, a fundamental study of the Bible, the Church Fathers, as well as churches and religious history. In particular, the instructional program is concerned in novitiate with the spirituality of religious life and the vows. The novice to the Rule to know and internalize. Furthermore, the novice receives aids for practicing in prayer and liturgy, silence, asceticism and the various forms of meditation and possibly language teaching.

The novitiate lasts longer than a year, the first is the canonical year in which the novice the convent usually does not leave and as large a seclusion is sought. In the second year can then connect internships to know, for example, various professional fields or various convents within the Order.