Are consecrated virgins, consecrated sisters/brothers, and consecrated lay people the same vocation?


The title is pretty self-explanatory. Would you be able to explain them if they are different?

Also do they live in community?

God Bless.


They are all different vocations from each other.
I am not the most learned person when it comes to discussing all the differences---- I’ll leave that to others here.


Brothers and sisters are religious. Consecrated virgins who are living in the world (there is a consecration for a virgin who is a religious) are not religious. They are secular (like a secular priest rather than a religious priest). They do not go by the title of “sister” or any title. They are a consecrated lay person, but not in the same sense as a consecrated single such as those who are part of a secular institute.



Consecrated Virgins are women who are physically virgins who are consecrated by their bishops.

I have heard of Consecrated Virgins entering religious life, but it’s not common.

Some religious communities consecrate their virgins, but this is now rare.

Secular Institutes usually have consecration as their form of commitment, and can be for married couples and singles. The main site won’t come up right now, but here is another I found:

In response to young virgin gentlemen who are desirous of a male counterpart (as far as possible) of the women’s, without priestly ordination, one of my groups has the following emerging “new movement” :



If you are going to call consecrated virgins lay persons, you may as well call religious men and women lay as well, because their consecration does not make them any less lay (in the sense of non-ordained) than the consecrated virgins.


Thank you everyone for clearing this up for me. It has shed some light in my discernment process.

One last question, since consecrated brothers/sisters are religious would that make them nuns/monks? Or…


My understanding and what I was taught when I was young, was that monks are nuns take solemn vows and male and female religious take simple vows. Wikipedia gives a full explanation of the difference between simple vows and solemn vows.


Technically no because the terms “monk” and “nun” properly applies to those in monastic communities. Admittedly, “nun” tends to be used to refer to any woman who is a member of a religious order


Consecrated virgins are not religious. Religious are canonically bound to recite the Divine Office, whereas consecrated virgins are not canonically bound to do so.


This is only partially true. Some religious are also consecrated virgins and therefore have the obligation to recite the Liturgy of the Hours. I was merely pointing out that religious are not in a superior form of consecration than sacred virgins or secular institute members, but that the forms of consecrated life are equal but different and certainly not lay.


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