Cistercian in choir dress (cowl). A Cistercian is clothed in such a white cowl at his solemn profession. It is worn over his habit (tunic and black hooded scapular, and leather belt). Because of this white cowl Cistercians are often referred to as the ‘white monks’.
As a young hermit, Benedict himself allowed the “garb of holy monastic life” to be handed to him by the claustral monk Romanus*, and thus he entered into the monastic tradition.
From the beginning of monasticism, the monastic garb was conferred on each new monk right at the time of entry.
Clothes certainly do not make the monk or the brother in our community, but wearing the same habit symbolizes membership in the community, which lives in a relationship with other monastic communities and in continuity with earlier generations.
* See Gregory, Dial 2.1.4 (sanctæ conversationis habitum)
Season of RemembranceLet us remember before God, and commend to his sure keeping: those who have died throughout the world for their country and for our freedom in conflict; those whom we knew, and those whose memory we treasure; and all who have lived and died in the service of humanity.
Ever-living God,we remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war into the peace of your presence; may that same peace calm our fears, bring justice to all peoples and establish harmony among the nations, through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.