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From The Golden Age of Russian Literature

Orthodox clergy are divided into the “white clergy,” or married priests, or “black clergy,” those who have taken monastic vows. A priest had to either marry or take vows. The black clergy was rather more respected than the white, and had greater ecclesiastical privileges: only monks could become bishops, for instance. The Russian countryside is full of walled monasteries like this one.


Monks wore black robes, with a distinctive tall hat:

Monk.jpg (photograph by Maksim Dmitriev, 1897)