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The period of training of novices in a monastery or religious community. It may lead to temporary vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience that, in most communities, will be replaced later by final or perpetual vows. It is a time of mutual testing. The community discerns the novice's personal call and capacities, while the novice seeks to discern if he or she is called to the community and willing to follow its rules and customs. Novices may leave the novitiate at any time. 

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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