BASIC R.C. BELIEF
A sacred ceremony whereby one is raised to clerical state and rendered
capable of receiving Holy Orders. It is not an order, but a sacramental.
This customarily included shaving at least a portion of the head (as St.
Anthony). As they stood before the bishop, he recited a prayer that "these
servants of God who hasted hither to lay aside the hairs of their head for
love of Him" might receive the Holy Ghost (EXTERNALS OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH, Msgr. O'Sullivan, p. 71).
POST VATICAN II
The custom of shaving heads was never common in the U.S. Now, by order of
Vatican II, the sacramental of tonsure no longer exists.
Traditional Roman Catholics (followers of ex-communicated Archbishop Marcel
Lefebvre) still observe Tonsure in the ordination of priests.
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