Procedures for Novices and Concluding Material

After the aforesaid or another admonishment is given to our brothers, it is necessary to see how this Chapter is instituted and of what sort it is.

It is known that the Chapter was instituted for the reformation and correction of customs, and for the discussion and recommendation of better ones.

Dear brothers, you know that to complete the purpose for which we have assembled it is universally agreed in this chapter and beyond that if anyone recapitulates a complaint against anyone for some crimilalo act after a second and a third fraternal warning has been issued, then he shall be accused in private — or in public if he perseveres in his crime and becomes obstinate. For this reason we are now congregated, as it is stated.

Afterward benefactors and friends of this church are recommended, no matter whether they are alive or dead — and particularly those friends and benefactors who particularly asked for a spiritual pension. And after them are recommended the brothers, sisters, and the benefactors; then the religious from Mt. St. Eligius, then St. Bartholomeus of Bruges. And for these the priests say and celebrate five masses, two for the living — one on the Holy Spirit, another on the Blessed Virgin — and three for the dead. Those religious who are not priests say five psalms.

It is also customary to interpolate the octaves of St. Augustine for whichever anniversary year of our Father and Mother it may be. It is said about our chappels and benefices that they should be served devotedly, sacredly, and worthily. And yet they are subjected to extortion.

First, the prior of Ulcheio has a chapel of St. Jacob which was destroyed and by the consent of its founder should serve two masses per week. It was once said that in this place the prior served his debt by saying those masses called On the Quarantine, etc.

To the same priory pertains the chapel of St. Nicolas situated in the leprosaria of the town, as it is for its patronage.

Then the curacy of Ulcheio is an estate along with the manor's lands given wholy to the abovementioned prior for three masses. Also noted are the canonic hours which the abovementioned prior owes.

There is a chapel of Vachon under the protection of Milo.

One under the protection of Auculphus.

There is a chapel for Bataille-Chaderon under the protectionof Galchery which was founded with the cure of St. Romanus. They must sing the same canonic hours as mentioned above.

There is a chapel in Mons Mirabilis, whith the cure of St. Martin and the same canonic hours.

In the cure of Chally there are two chapels, and the curacies of Romegny and Villers belong to it. Following an ancient custom the canon hours must be sung in church.

In the cure of Arceyus there is the chapel of St. Restituta of Cervenay.

In the cure of Marolium there are two chapels.

In the cure of St. Remigius there are two chapels.

In the cure of Arthasia there is one chapel.

In the cure of Ostello there is a chapel.

In the cure of Belna there is one chapel, and another secular one.

In the cure of Venderii there are three secular chapels.

In the cure of Trelodium there is a chapel through the bounty of Lord Simon, when he was the Bishop of Soissons. To the curacy is joined a secular chapel ordained on the estate of Chassins.

In the cure of Espiers there is one secular chapel.

In the cure of Montlevon there is a chapel of Dame Rose.

In the same church there are many chapels.

Afterwards it speaks of those who died that year, for whom one of the priests is obliged to say four masses along with the offices for the dead, and the others who are not priests must say four psalms. All should do this as they would wish it done after their own deaths.

Then confessors are elected from among them, to whom all must confess. These confessors have full power both inside and outside the church. There are also those elected only for outside the church, who have power only on matters of business.

It is prohibited for our religious to confess to a lay priest if they have access to a religious of our number.

It is prohibited for the associates of the priors or the curates to hear the confessions of the secular curates because their power is limited to the parishes where they are staying.

It is prohibited to confess to mendicants unless there is an overwhelming necessity for it.

It is also known that there are other precepts which tend to a single end, though some are spiritual, others are temporal, and others are corporal — that is, morality, just as it appears in the old codices.

Those spiritual precepts which should be placed here are on the election of brothers, about which the rule speaks where it says that God must be taken care of before all other matters, then those close to one, etc.

It is prohibited for brothers to dispute in public with the lay.

We should live together in charity because we are members of the same body from one house: we live under the same rule and under the same profession, we partake of the same bread and from the same cup. This is a spiritual and perpetual fraternity.

It is even enforced that if anyone is in a dispute he shall not celebrate mass before he is reconciled to the other party.

It is prohibited for the religious to make their confessions to any but the confessors nominated by the chapter, if this can be done.

It is also prohibited for our brothers to hear confessions in the parishes of secular priests without their consent or permission.

It is also prohibited for the brothers to hear the confessons of women after eating, unless there is some necessity and it occurs in an honest location.

It is also prohibited for them to preach in other places without permission.

It is prohibited for them to eat in shameful places or outside of their own homes, unless the Lord Bishop or the Archdeacon or the Lord of the town is present.

It is also prohibited for nuns or lay women to eat or sleep in our houses. For it is well known that scandal can arise from them.

Also, none of our religious should go to a tavern for food or drink unless he is on a journey or there is some necessity for it.

It is also prohibited for anyone to walk out through his parish or in any other place without his regular habit — that is, a black tunic without a cap.

It is also prohibited to display one's dress to the curious, the forward, the nosy; it should not be opened before the open, [bassi sotulares nisi infermis]. As it says in the rule: let your habit not be remarkable, etc., and in the same way conformity of dress in both shape and color should be observed. Still it may not be equal to those of the rest because you are of different rank from the rest, etc.

It is also prohibited for anyone to go anywhere outside the church for long without a fellow canon or a servant if it can be avoided.

It is also upheld that brothers coming before vespers also go to matins.

It is also upheld that all those from outside coming to this church should reveal their order to the Lord Abbot if he is in the church or to the prior, or to a superior, and make obeisance to him. Afterward they may freely go about their business.

It is also prohibited for anyone to leave the bishopric in which they reside without permission unless it is forced by some necessity,.

It is also prohibited for any religious to wander off to his studies without permission.

Honest hospitality, in as much as is possible according to one’s personal conditions and the needs of the day, is also recommended to all.

Nobody is permitted to give or receive debts without permission. Nobody is permitted to receive a deposit from his associate without knowing the contents. Nobody should keep his lazy parents for a long while.

It is prohibited for anyone to make their buildings very sumptuous without permission.

It is instructed that those who owe us an annual return pay the debts faithfully and in full before they leave.

It is also instructed that whoever gives an account of his temporal goods should say and explain his position before the general chapter.

It is also instructed that under pain of obedience before everyone leaves the church they should count up and make satisfaction to the officials.

It is also instructed that those who have boods from the library should give them back or recopy the books before they leave. Not following this is prohibited under pain of excommunication.

There is another and last precept about spiritual service: that is, that everyone should say the service and the canonic hours sacredly, devotedly, in order and completely, as it is customary to say them in church: fifteen psalms for the living as for the dead, seven psalms and litanies along with subsequent prayers.