On Friday evening, December 24, the eve of the feast of Venerable Herman of Alaska, upon completion of the All-Night Vigil at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, monastery abbot Bishop Luke of Syracuse tonsured two new rassоphore monks: novices Peter & Spyridon. Upon completion of the rite of tonsure, Bishop Luke 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.