Order name

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The religious name is the name accepted when joining a religious community , which takes the place of the civil name internally and usually also externally. In most communities, this name is traditionally given by the superior on admission to the novitiate and traditionally. In some convents this happens when the candidate joins or when the decision is made to accept the candidate.

In the meantime it has often been switched over to the fact that the novice may choose a name or make several suggestions, from which the superior then chooses. It is also possible to choose the baptismal name.

Catholic Church

The assignment of religious names has been common practice since the early modern period . The new name is intended to express that the religious has been called by God in a special way. Religious communities rely inter alia on Isaiah 62.2-4  EU : "One calling you by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord meant for you." Dialed was usually the name of a saint , and this then as a patron applies . The name can also indicate an invocation of the Blessed Mother or a festival secret.

In some monastic orders, such as the Discalced Carmelite Sisters , the order's name also contains a predicate that is intended to express a special relationship between the bearer of the name and this religious secret or saint.

Under German name right religious name as are artists' names and other pseudonyms no names for legal purposes. However, they can be entered in the identity card or passport and are often used in dealings with insurance companies and the like. The religious name is protected like the civil name according to § 12 BGB .

Hinduism, Buddhism

A spiritual name or monk's name is a name that one receives in the course of an initiation , in addition to the common name. This custom is particularly widespread in Hinduism and Buddhism , here these names are often in Sanskrit ( Mahayana , Vajrayana ) or Pali ( Theravada ).

One of the most famous people with a monk name is Tendzin Gyatsho , the current Dalai Lama , his real name was Lhamo Dhondrub.


Tarcisius Georg Sztubitz: The name of the order, its development and special features (=  Exordia . No. 3 ). Be & Be-Verlag, Heiligenkreuz 2019, ISBN 978-3-903118-83-6 (133 pages).

Web links

Wiktionary: religious name  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gregor Müller : The name change in the monastery. In: Cistercienser Chronik , 15 (1903), pp. 243–247.
  2. German Bundestag: Printed paper 16/9725 of June 24, 2008 (PDF; 111 kB)