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A person who devotes his or her life to religious vows and who lives in community (in or associated with a monastery) or as a solitary. Monastic communities lead a life devoted to God in a monastery, in relative isolation from the world. Although monastic vows differ from tradition to tradition, they normally include poverty, chastity, and obedience. A monastic's schedule may be divided into prayer, study, and work. Eastern monks follow the rule of St. Basil, and most western monks follow the rule of St. Benedict. Monks are bound by solemn vows. They live in relatively independent abbeys ruled by an elected abbot, with the highest authority residing in a general chapter. The general chapter includes all the professed members of the order. Monastic and canonical orders were discontinued in England by Henry VIII but restored in the Anglican Communion during the nineteenth century. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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