Reading 20a: On the prior
When a prior is being instated, the abbot and the whole community being present, by the communal agreement of all five or six person will be selected, who, after furnishing a simple oath as assurance, withdrawing aside and after deliberation returning into the chapter room, name the person about whom they have reached agreement. And the abbot ought to bestow the office on him who was named; and he (the person elected) ought to receive it humbly. The seat of the prior is in the left part of the choir, in front of the rest in the church - that is to say opposite to the abbot. He shall perform the weekly service just as other priests. He shall sing the first mass on the nativity of the Lord, and he shall sing the sixth responsory with the abbot on duplex feasts. When the abbot reads the ninth reading, the prior reads the eighth. After the ninth reading, which the lord abbot shall read, the prior shall say the benediction standing. On major feasts, when the abbot is absent, he replaces him and when duplex [feasts] for the dead are done. On the feast days of nine lessons the prior shall sing the ninth responsory. He always ought to be in the convent, unless the welcoming of guest or other reasonable occasion has detained him. As to which if he is detected by the convent to dissociate himself from diligence and devotion (i.e. that he is not devoted or diligent enough), he [shall] quickly be found to receive a note of levity and lack of constancy (for it). He shall have no other dependency outside. He shall perform absolution at Compline and at Prime when the abbot is absent, unless the weekly priest of the morning mass comes forth to celebrate. Every [kind of] permission, whether for going outside, for speaking with some outsider, for bloodletting, or for receiving a gift, is to be requested from him. Those permitted (to do something) by the prior, if they had been stopped by the abbot, ought to ask permission from him again. If some of the above have permission given by the abbot, they ought to notify the prior. When, moreover, the abbot is present, permission to go out of the town is not to be given by the prior himself to anyone. But if the abbot is absent, the prior can give (such permission), as long as the person is to return in three days, but not more, unless some clear necessity compels him to delay longer.
The prior shall grant permission to no one for going into town, unless compelling need arises. Also it is the character of his office to investigate diligently the brothers' transgressions or offences and the matters, which need to be corrected, to correct according to rule - to tolerate many, to disguise most, and it is up to his discretion what is to be arranged within and without. Without consulting the prior no one is to be promoted or removed, or put in charge or discharged; also, when the abbot is away, all ought to obey him in honest and useful things. If they do not do this, they are to be gravely punished, and if they are found out to be doing harm another time, in case the abbot is delayed in far away part or in travelling, the prior can remove those persons from the council of the brothers. It also pertains to his office to provide for all the deficiencies of the convent in its needs. To him especially pertains the striking of the cymbal, and in the morning the awakening of the brothers in the dormitory by the ringing of the bell. If, however, the prior seems to be doing harm, just as he is elected by the council, he shall be deposed.