Novitiate: begins with a ceremony in which the postulant receives the monastic habit and receives a new name. It is two-year period of formation in human virtue and the monastic life. Topics of study include monastic history, monastic and religious life, the Holy Rule, the psalms, Scripture, chant and Latin, and an introduction to doctrine. For St Benedict the concern should be whether the novice is “truly seeking God.”
First Profession: (usually lasting for three years): during which a young nun gradually assumes more responsibility in the community.
Solemn vows: when she gives her whole self to Christ in the monastery. St Benedict says that the monk, when he makes his vows, is to place his vow chart on the altar at the Offertory, to be offered along with the sacrifice of Christ, to the Father. So in a very real sense, the daily offering of the Mass is a renewal of our self-offering at monastic profession.