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Russian Orthodox nun wearing apostolnik.

An apostolnik or epimandylion is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic nuns. It is a cloth veil that completely covers the head (except for the face), neck, and shoulders[1] similar to the hijab worn by Muslim women, it is usually black,[2] but sometimes white.[3] It is sometimes worn with a skufia.[4]

The nun typically receives the apostolnik when she becomes a novice. While it is usually replaced with the epanokamelavkion[citation needed] when the nun becomes a rassophor, many nuns will continue to wear the apostolnik for the sake of convenience, much as a monk will continue to wear a skufia instead of a klobuk when not attending the Divine Liturgy.

In some practices, a novice will wear a black scarf covering the head and tied under the chin. She will then receive the apostolnik at her tonsure. In this practice, the epanokamelavkion may be reserved for the abbess and for nuns of the Great Schema.


  1. ^ http://www.sestry.ru/church/img/1053
  2. ^ http://www.sestry.ru/church/img/1021
  3. ^ http://manastir-lepavina.org/novosti/images/uploads/d14.JPG
  4. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/06/23/pope.ukraine/long.protest.ap.jpp.jpg