Table of Contents

  1. First Reading (Matins)
  2. Second Reading (Matins, cont.)
  3. Third reading (Daybreak: Lavabo and Second Morning Offices)
  4. Reading Four (Prime)
  5. Reading Five (Prime and the Chapter Room)
  6. Reading Six (Discipline in the Chapter Room)
  7. Reading Seven (From the Chapter Room to the Cloister, and Terce)
  8. Reading Eight (Terce and Preparation for Mass)
  9. Reading Nine (Mass)
  10. Reading Ten (Mass, cont.)
  11. Reading Eleven (Sext, Refectory)
  12. Reading Twelve (Refectory)
  13. Reading 13a (Refectory-Dormitory)
  14. Reading 14a (None)
  15. Reading 15 (Vespers, Processions)
  16. Reading 16 (Collation and Compline)
  17. Reading 17 (Dormitory)
  18. Reading 18: On Making Rounds
  19. Reading 19: On the Abbot
  20. Reading 20a: On the Prior
  21. Reading 21a: On the Sub-prior
  22. Reading 22a: On the Steward (Provost)
  23. Reading 23a: On the Vestarer
  24. Reading 24: On the Infirmarer
  25. Reading 25: On the Hospitaller
  26. Reading 26: On the Kitchener (and food)
  27. Reading 27: On the Cantor
  28. Reading 28: On the Cellarer
  29. Reading 29: On the Refectorer
  30. Reading 30: On the Almoner
  31. Reading 31: On the Sacristan
  32. Reading 32: On the Grainarer (Granary Keeper)
  33. Reading 33: On the Census-Taker (Argentarius)
  34. On the Procurators
  35. Reading 34: On how it is necessary to be present at the canonical hours
  36. Reading 35: Concerning the Weekly Priest (Hebdomadarius)
  37. Reading 36: On Maundy (Mandatum)
  38. Reading 37: On Welcoming Novices and Making Profession
  39. Reading 38: On the tonsure
  40. Reading 39: On the Porter
  41. Reading 40: On the Pittancer
  42. Reading 41: On Bloodlettings
  43. Reading 42 and last things (Restrictions on the Conversi)
  44. On Permission to Go Outside and Other Things
  45. Reading 43: On Places of Silence and Benediction
  46. Article 3: No Eating in the Dormitory Room
  47. Article 4: Which Women May Permissibly Enter the Cloister
  48. Article 4 (bis): No Lying Down or Eating Outside our Houses
  49. Article 5: Permission for Talking with an Outsider and for Going out of the Choir
  50. Article 6: All Shall Read at the Table
  51. Article 7: The Seal of the Chapter
  52. Article 8: "Not Mine, but Ours"
  53. Lectio 44: On those who are living in dependent parishes
  54. Article 2: Priors and their Socii (associates) in dependant parishes
  55. Article 3: On recalling those who are living in dependant parishes
  56. Article 4: On Prohibited Games
  57. Article 5: That Books for our use should be in dependent parishes
  58. Customary oath on receiving an abbot

Glossary / Notes

Reading 19: On the Abbot

The lord abbot shall have his own stall in the right part of the choir, in front of the rest. He shall perform no service in the church except on duplex feast days, when, if he is present, he shall sing the vespers during the evening, all hours during the day and the greater mass. He shall carry out the anointing of the dying and the funerals of the canons and the conversi. On double-anniversaries of the bishops or of our abbots, or also of those who lie in the chapter room, he shall sing (the service). On such anniversaries, the mass for the dead is the high mass or major mass, unless the time of fasting has come. On Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, on Good Friday, on Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday, he will celebrate the sacraments. On Maundy Thursday, after the cleansing of the altars, the abbot shall perform the rite of the Maundy that happens before lunch, by washing the feet of paupers. [He shall perform this rite] for thirteen paupers; the congregation, for seventy-two. In the rite of the Maundy that takes place after lunch, he alone shall wash the feet of all the canons and brothers, and he shall pour water over the hands of each of them. On Good Friday in the third hour the abbot shall receive discipline from the prior, then he shall first give instruction to the prior, next to all the others in accordance with their rank. The abbot himself shall always lie down with the rest in the dormitory, eat in the refectory, unless he is detained by weariness from travel or other reasonable business, or unless the appearance of some person of high rank, from which he cannot hide, keeps him back. In order, however, that every occasion for discontent be removed, in connection with the things that are ordained regarding the necessities of the convent, whether in eating or in dress, the abbot should not take anything out, nor change anything, nor reduce anything without reasonable cause and necessity, and without the agreement of the senior part of the chapter. At least once in each year he shall hear the confessions of each of the brothers, both of the ones who are outside, and of those who are within, and no one in the cloister shall listen to the private confessions, unless he will have ordered [it] to them. Each year he shall visit each of our houses with two wise religious figures and after a diligent investigation into temporal as well as spiritual matters, he shall correct those things that need to be corrected.

The abbot should be especially careful not to usher in or have conversations in the cloister with people, by whom the community might be disturbed, either in the hour of speaking or in the hour of silence. Let the abbot see to it that his good behavior be an example of orderly conduct to all, that he not misuse the power he has received, but he should all the more restrain himself in all discipline, since he has no other above him by whom he may be restrained. For the abbot is not so exalted (above the rest) that he is not subject to the order maintained in the cloister, but he shall recognize himself as the teacher of the rest in such a way, that he ought to have the rule itself as his teacher. And so he should regard himself to be a father in giving assistance, a teacher in giving instruction, to be elected before the rest in such a way that by his actions he should always strive to show himself a fellow brother to the rest. In appearance and expense, in quantity of servers and companions he shall maintain a moderate standard. He shall be present at the canonical Hours, when he deems it useful.

Besides it must be known that the lord abbot ought to be especially honored in all places by all people, so that in whatever place he may be (with the exception of the dormitory), either standing or sitting, no one of the brothers shall dare pass before him without bowing to him. In whatever place some of the brothers may have been seated, if the lord abbot comes upon them, they ought to rise, (and they should) not sit down until he himself is seated or orders them to be seated. If, however, he goes past them, they ought to rise and bow and to remain standing until he has passed. Also all brothers ought to observe that they must keep themselves under control in all appearance and word and gesture especially in his presence. When the Abbot is about to leave for someplace and is to delay for a long time, he ought to entrust his powers to the prior or the Subprior regarding greater issues, also regarding those matters which seem to pertain only to his power, if need has appeared meanwhile, and it is not possible to await the return of the abbot without grave injury. If the abbot has been signalled for [doing] a thing, which it is not possible to tolerate or hide, he shall first be admonished in private by the more religious brothers, for his fault should not be readily be revealed nor should it be reported at the communal hearing in chapter. But if admonished once, and twice, and for the third time he is found to be incorrigible, the matter shall be taken to the hearing of the chapter.

Lectio 19 : DE ABBATE.

Dominus abbas in dextera parte chori proprium stallum ante alios obtineat. Nullum officium in ecclesia faciat praeterquam in duplicibus festis, in quibus uesperas in uigilia et omnes horas in die et maiorem missam, si praesens est, decantet. Inunctiones morientium et obsequia mortuorum canonicorum et conuersorum exequatur. In duplicibus anniuersariis episcoporum siue abbatum nostrorum, uel etiam eorum qui iacent in capitulo, decantet. In talibus anniuersariis missa pro defunctis est maior missa, nisi ieiunium aduenerit. In die cinerum, in coena Domini, in Parasceue, in sabbatho Paschae et in sabbatho Penthecostes diuina celebret. In coena Domini post altarium ablutionem mandatum quod ante prandium fit, in lauandis pedibus pauperum, pauperibus tredecim abbas faciat, et conuentus, Septuaginta duobus pauperibus. In mandato quod eodem die fit post prandium ipse solus omnibus canonicis et fratribus pedes lauet, et singulorum manibus aquam infundat. In die Parasceues hora tertia abbas recipiat disciplinam a priore, deinde primo det disciplinam priore, deinde omnibus aliis per ordinem. Ipse abbas semper cum ceteris iaceat in dormitorio, epuletur in refectorio, nisi illum ex itinere detineat fatigatio uel alia rationabilis occupatio, aut alicuius personae sublimis a qua se non possit abscondere, retentet occasio. Vt autem omnis occasio murmurandi tollatur de his quae ordinata sunt ad necessitates conuentus, siue in uictu, siue in uestitu, nihil subtrahat abbas, nihil mutet, nihil minuat sine rationabili causa et necessitate, et sine consensu sanioris partis capituli. Singulis annis semel ad minus audiat confessiones singulorum, tam eorum qui foris sunt quam eorum qui intus sunt, et nullus in claustro audiat confessiones speciales, nisi quibus iniunxerit. Singulis annis uisitet singulas domos nostras cum duobus discretis religiosis, et diligenti inquisitione facta tam temporalium quam spiritualium corrigat corrigenda.

Caueat diligenter abbas ne aliquos introducat, uel cum aliquibus in claustro colloquia habeat, per quos molestetur conuentus, uel in hora colloquii, uel in hora silentii. Prouideat sibi abbas, ut bona conuersatio sua omnibus exemplum disciplinae fiat, nec accepta abutatur potestate, sed tanto magis seipsum in omni disciplina cohibeat, quanto alium supra se nullum habet a quo cohiberi possit. Non enim ideo praelatus est ut disciplinae claustrali subiectus non sit, sed sic aliorum magistrum se esse cognoscat, ut regulam ipsam debeat habere magistram. Igitur in subueniendo patrem, in erudiendo doctorem, ita se prae ceteris constitutum intelligat, ut in faciendo ceteris se socium semper studeat exhibere. In habitu et expensis, numero seruientium et euectionum mediocrem obseruet mensuram. Horis canonicis intersit, cum uiderit expedire.

Praeterea sciendum est quod dominus abbas in omni loco ab omnibus singulariter honorari debet, ita ut in quocunque loco fuerit siue stans siue sedens excepto dormitorio nullus fratrum coram eo transire audeat, nisi ei inclinet. In quocunque loco fratres aliqui sederint, si dominus abbas superuenerit, assurgere debent, nec sedere donec ipse sedeat, uel eos sedere praecipiat. Si autem transierit coram eis, assurgere debent et inclinare et stantes permanere quousque ipse pertransierit. Obseruare etiam debent omnes fratres, ut maxime coram eo in omni habitu et uerbo et gestu disciplinate se habeant. Quando abbas quoquam iturus est et longam moram facturus debet priori uel suppriori de maioribus negotiis, et quae ad eius solummodo potestatem spectare uidentur, si necessitas interuenerit, et sine graui damno aduentus abbatis expectari non possit, uices suas committere. Si abbas notatus de aliquo fuerit quod tollerari ac dissimulari non possit, primum per religiosiores fratres secreto admoneatur, quia eius culpa non facile manifestari, neque ad communem capituli audientiam deferri debet. Sed si primo et secundo et tertio admonitus incorrigibilis inueniatur, ad audientiam capituli deferatur.

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