Cloister (monastery)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sign in the cloister of the Habsthal monastery

Exam (from late Latin clausura , shutter ' claudere , include') is the defined, the Order members reserved area, the religious member leaves only with prior permission of his superiors. Outsiders are only allowed to enter this area temporarily under certain conditions (e.g. if they are candidates for a religious order, doctors or craftsmen). The cloister area of ​​a monastery serves as a place of seclusion and detachment from external influences for the members of the community and symbolizes the substitute for the desert as the habitat of the early hermits .

Forms of the enclosure (Roman Catholic Church)

The cloister was set down in four different forms and types: In addition to the cloister, which is common to all religious institutes, there are three relating to the peculiarities of the communities of contemplative life; they are called papal, constitutional and monastic enclosure. The so-called papal cloister excludes external apostolic duties. The constitutional enclosure is determined by the prescriptions of one's own constitutions; and the monastic enclosure, although it retains the character of a “stricter order” compared to the general enclosure, allows more far-reaching forms of reception and hospitality to be combined with the primary task of worship, but always in accordance with one's own constitutions. The general retreat is the least closed of the four types.

Papal enclosure

Convent of the Carmelites of Santa Teresa de Jesús in Buenos Aires. View through the enclosure lattice into the nuns choir

In 1566 Pope Pius V issued the apostolic constitution Circa pastoralis , which prescribed the so-called papal cloister for nuns with solemn vows . According to the instructions of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life on the Contemplative Life and the Enclosure of the Verbi sponsa nuns of 1999, the papal enclosure today only applies to women religious of contemplative orders, such as the Carmelites or the Poor Clares .

The cloister includes the dormitory , cells , refectory (dining room), chapter house , cloisters , choir , possibly part of the consulting room and at least large parts of the site on which the monastery is built. When establishing a foundation or resettling a convent , the cloister is closed and blessed in a liturgical act followed by a procession .


Exclusion or exclusion means that an order member no longer lives within the cloister. The order member is released from community life during this time and is not bound by the closed-door regulations. The exclusion does not constitute an exclusion from the order. However, the resignation of an order member with a solemn profession is often preceded by a long period of exclusion. He or she is still a member of the order and bound to the religious vows , but lives outside the convent .

See also


  • Peter Wiesflecker: "We have a strict enclosure ..." Canon law and canon law-historical aspects of the papal enclosure using the example of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Gabriel . Grazer Universitätsverlag 15, Graz 2010, ISBN 978-3-7011-0179-5 .
  • Peter Lippert: Klausur / Kloster In: Christian Schütz (Hrsg.): Practical Lexicon of Spirituality. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1992, ISBN 3-451-22614-6 , Sp. 716-719.


  1. Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere - on the contemplative life in women's orders of June 29, 2016 [1] , No. 31, p. 31 f.