On Wednesday evening, May 15, the eve of the great feast of the Ascension of the Lord, upon completion of the All-Night Vigil at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV, monastery abbot Archimandrite Seraphim (Voepel) tonsured two new rassоphore monks: novices Edward (in honor of the Holy Right-Believing Edward, King of England) and Michael (in honor of St. Michael the Archangel). Upon completion of the rite of tonsure, Fr. Seraphim addressed the newly tonsured monks with a word of instruction.
Tonsure to the rank of rassophore monk is the first step of monasticism. At his tonsure, the novice receives a riassa and cowl (klobuk), and is sometimes given a new name, although the new monk does not yet take his monastic vows. Those tonsured to wear the riassa are called "rassophore." All monastic clothing, with its black color and artlessness, reminds one of a humble, solitary, unacquisitive life, lived in repentance for one’s sins.