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A convent is a community of either
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...

priest
s, religious brothers,
religious sisters A religious sister in the Catholic Church is a woman who has taken public vows in a religious institute dedicated to apostolic works, as distinguished from a nun who lives a cloistered monastic life dedicated to prayer. Both nuns and sisters use t ...
,
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via ''monachus'') is a person who practices religious by living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life ...

monk
s or
nun A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience The three evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Mo ...

nun
s; or the building used by the community, particularly in the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history ...

Catholic Church
,
Lutheran church Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life ...

Lutheran church
es, and the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, ree ...
.


Etymology and usage

The term derives via Old French from Latin ''conventus'', perfect participle of the verb ''convenio'', meaning to convene, to come together. The original reference was to the gathering of mendicants who spent much of their time travelling. Technically, a “
monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monastery
" or "nunnery" is a secluded community of monastics, whereas a "friary" or "convent" is a community of
mendicants A mendicant (from la, mendicans, "begging") is one who practices mendicancy, relying chiefly or exclusively on alms to survive. In principle, mendicant religious orders own little property, either individually or collectively, and in many inst ...
(which, by contrast, might be located in a city), and a "
canonry A canon (from the Latin ''canonicus'', itself derived from the Greek language, Greek , ''kanonikós'', "relating to a rule", "regular") is a member of certain bodies subject to an canon law, ecclesiastical rule. Originally, a canon was a cleric ...
" a community of
canons regular Canons regular are canons (a category of clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their ...
. The terms “
abbey An abbey is a type of monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin L ...

abbey
" and “
priory 300px, The Priory de Graville, France A priory is a monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "sing ...

priory
" can be applied to both monasteries and canonries; an abbey is headed by an Abbot, and a priory is a lesser dependent house headed by a Prior. In English usage since about the 19th century the term "convent" almost invariably refers to a community of women,Se
Etym on line
/ref> while "monastery" and "
friary 300px, The Priory de Graville, France A priory is a monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "sing ...

friary
" are used for men. In historical usage they are often interchangeable, with "convent" especially likely to be used for a friary. When applied to religious houses in
Eastern Orthodoxy The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, English refers to all houses of male religious as "monasteries" and of female religious "convents".


Gallery

File:Agreda - Convento Concepcion 06.JPG, Convent of the
Conceptionists The Order of the Immaculate Conception (''Ordo Inmaculatae Conceptionis''), also known as the Conceptionists, are a contemplative religious order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set ...
in
Ágreda Ágreda is a municipality located in the Soria (province), province of Soria, in the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. Ágreda is the regional services center in the Northeast of the Soria (province), province of Soria. Its abunda ...
founded by
Mary of Jesus of Ágreda Mary of Jesus of Ágreda ( es, María de Jesús), OIC, also known as the Abbess of Ágreda (2 April 160224 May 1665), was a Franciscan The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity, Christian Catholic relig ...
(where her body is said to rest,
incorrupt Incorruptibility is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', ...
) File:Kloster Bursfelde von NO.jpg,
Bursfelde Abbey Bursfelde Abbey (in German Kloster Bursfelde) is a former Benedictine monastery located in Bursfelde, a hamlet which for administrative purposes is included in the municipality of nearby Hannoversch Münden in Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (germa ...
has continued as a Lutheran convent since A.D. 1579


See also

*
Christian monasticism Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of Christians who live Asceticism#Christianity, ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, mo ...
*
Enclosed religious orders Enclosed religious orders or ''cloistered clergy'' are religious order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, us ...


References


External links

*
Carmelite Monastery of the Sacred Hearts
— an example of a modern-day convent * Christian buildings and structures Types of communities Christian communities Nunneries {{catholic-stub