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The night vigil services at the Mount Athos monasteries may go on continuously for several hours, and there may be no fewer than one every week. The young novices find attendance at them very tiring and physically uncomfortable and also complain that the ordinary daily liturgical services are too long. In the Orthodox services the congregation has to stand on its feet throughout the period. The resultant exhaustion (and other ascetic living conditions) causes a high percentage of novices to find monastic life on Athos too severe, so they abandon it after a trial.

-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 7: Related Entries > # 24

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