Reading 30: On the Almoner
The abbot shall instate for an almoner for collecting alms a pious and gentle person, so that he knows how to be compassionate to the destitute through his piety, and through his gentleness to be able to tolerate the imposition of the needy with a calm spirit. To his office pertains the taking up of a tenth of the bread from the oven, he himself shall have the leftovers of the refectory, of the infirmary, of the guesthouse, and of the entire domicile; he shall wholly receive the annual and anniversary (donations), and the maundies from the cellarer as well as from the kitchener. If the canons of this church, of whatever rank they might be, depart within the year (of their arrival in the cloister), namely before Profession, he (the almoner) shall take their entire prebend (alloted portion) for thirty days and not more. They shall have anniversaries, but no annuals. If they have lived for a year or more, they shall wholly have annuals and anniversaries. Regardless of when the conversi depart, the almoner shall collect up their prebend in its entirety, for thirty days, and not more. They shall not have anniversaries.
The almoner shall have ready vessels suitable for the collection of food according to the variety of the courses, so that the leftovers from different kinds do not get mixed. He shall have his own salvers, cups and tablecloths, so that he can properly serve food to any pauper of a decent character.
In distributing alms, the almoner must use much discretion: he shall reserve the choice parts for those of poorer health. If there are some people who are embarrassed by consorting with the rest, he shall have this sort of people sit apart, so that they may take in a more discrete manner what is to be given to them. He shall often make rounds of the tables in the domicile, so that the alms do not perish. For performing the Maundy he shall timely provide hot and cold water and clean vessels for mixing them, also towels, and aprons. On Maundy Thursday, he shall select paupers and among them he shall provide thirteen of extreme poverty for the abbot, and what is expended on them he shall receive from the cellarer. Regarding the sick people, who receive alms from him, let him know what is needed to whom and when to visit them with permission granted. He shall receive money from the steward for the purchase of the above (i.e. whatever is needed for the sick), unless he has some income with which to do this.