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).


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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