Abbey - A monastery or convent under the government of an abbot or abbess.
Convent - A building or community of female monastics.
Monastery - A building or community of male monastics.
Nunnery - An outmoded term for convent.
Priory - A building headed by a prior or prioress. This may be for monastics, but can also include friars (who live a life of poverty rather than monasticism) or military-monastic knights.
Oblate - Oblates are laypersons of a monastic order who are not monks or nuns, but who have individually affiliated themselves in prayer with a monastery of their choice.
Candidate/Postulant - The title for a person asking for admission into a monastery, both before actual admission and for the length of time proceeding their admission into the novitiate.
Novice - A prospective monastic undergoing a period of training and preparation prior to taking vows in the order to determine whether or not they are called to the religious life.
Lay Brother - Lay Brothers handle secular matters, typically manual labor which either gains money for or supports the monastery, such as working in farms, gardens, the hospice, infirmary, and kitchens.
Choir Monk - Monks who have been or will be ordained into monastic orders as a deacon or priest.
Monk - A monastic clergyman who practices religious asceticism. The female term is nun.
Heirodeacon - A monk who is also an ordained deacon.
Heiromonk - A monk who is also an ordained priest.
Sub-prior - A monastic superior who holds the third place in the monastery hierarchy. The female term is Subprioress.
Prior - A Prior is a monastic superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot (in those cases where they don't control a priory themselves). The female equivalent is Prioress.
Abbot - The title given to the head of a monastery or abbey. The female equivalent is Abbess.
Hegumen - A title for the head of all monasteries in a certain territory (from a monastery known as a 'hegumenos'). The head of a convent of nuns is called hegumenia or ihumenia.
Archimandrite - This title refers to a superior abbot whom a bishop appointed to supervise several "ordinary" abbots (each styled hegumenos) and monasteries, or to the abbot of some especially great and important monastery. The female term is Archimandrate.
Mother Superior - A term for a female in charge of an abbey or convent.
Almoner - The monk who manages alms distributed to the poor.
Cantor - The brother who supervises (choir) music.
Cellarer - The lay brother who provides for the monks' practical needs for daily life, such as supplies.
Chamberlain - A monk in charge of clothing.
Circuitor - The monk in charge of discipline.
Guest-master - The brother in charge of caring for the monastery's guests.
Infirmerer - who took care of the sick and the elderly monks
Kitchener - The brother in charge of food preparation.
Librarian - A monk who manages the books of the monastery.
Novice-master - The senior monk who supervises the novices.
Sacrist - A monk, second only to the prior and sub prior, who is in charge of everything holy, including books and relics.
Treasurer - The brother who supervises the monastery's jewels, ornaments, and vestments.
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? Responses (7)-8
This is more useful, in general for most gamers, than some of the lists. It is also something that characters might experience. It has a solid order. While the terms are specifically Catholic, it gives you a specific feel for a monestary and how the ranking works.
See this one has ranks and positions. Some of your other subs might be better served with this.
Agree with Moon on this one - this one is quite useful!
Good comments already taken.
Instead of focusing on the actual titles themselves, and the fact that they're Catholic in nature, perhaps we should be looking at the fact that specific designations were/are needed for those stations within monastic orders, and create parallel titles/ranks for our own monastic orders?
Even though this is decently done, however, I must disagree with other commenters as to how useful it is. Economics states that the consumer pays for value added: what value was added here? Simply organizing such ranks together into a list with categories isn't good enough to be worthy of a write-up, in my opinion. Is there honestly nothing we can add to this to make it more than just a list of rankings?
I agree with Moon and val on this one. It's useful to have handy. I've been mis-using hegumen and archimandrite apparently :)
Abbeys and Monasteries feature so prominently in medieval fantasy that it's nice to have even just a listing.
Lists like this are handy to have around
Useful for any games with religion in them.