Reading 29: On the Refectorer
The abbot shall establish a refectorer who is to serve under the cellarer and the convent. He shall provide water for the lavabo, and he shall clean it and the small vessels as often as it is necessary. He must also have a cupboard for the items of the refectory, where he may store vessels, cups and spoons, so that from there he can supply the refectory with whatever needs to be furnished. He shall place salt on the tables in as many places as is necessary. At the beginning of lunch or dinner, he must ensure that all the vessels that are placed before the brothers are clean. No one may take the goblets or cups or spoons or other vessels from the refectory without his permission. He must also provide the candelabra , which in wintertime are put before the brothers in the refectory late in the day, and these are to be placed in such a manner that each serves three people at the least. If any of the food or anything else falls on the tablecloth so that it is stained, he shall have it washed. And after the brothers have ascended for dining, the refectorer, standing on the inside of the [serving] window (passe-plat), shall accept from the kitchener the things to be served to the brothers, and shall carry them away with an assistant if necessary.
The refectorer must know, in the same way as the kitchener, to whom it is necessary to give something special, so that he knows what should be given out to whom in accordance with the rule of the blessed Augustine. He must circulate among the diners and look out to see whether anybody needs anything, so that he might supply it. No one shall go to the [serving] window except him or those who are serving assistants. Wherever he may be in the refectory, he must frequently turn towards whoever is in charge of the convent, so that if he indicates that anything must done, he can be ready at hand. And he must ensure that the bread that is brought to the brothers ought to be clean, i.e. neither burned nor with anything which is to be cleaned or removed. He shall receive from the almoner baskets and brushes for collecting the leftovers. If it is necessary, the last of the youngest brothers, at a signal getting up on each side, shall collect the leftovers in the refectory. He shall provide fresh water for the brothers at lunch and dinner. It should nevertheless be known that, neither in the buying nor in preparing the refectory vessels, or the eating utensils in any other place belong to him, but let him ask the cellarer for what is needed, and the cellarer, [ask] the steward.