Click here for pdf of whole Rule: RB37

Welcome to the next set of reflections on the Rule. This series is offered by a group of oblates of Stanbrook: Beverley Hallam, John Crabbe, Andrea Brewster and Fr Christopher Jackson. Please scroll down to find reflections.

Further Reading:
If you have enjoyed looking at words and patterns in the Rule you will probably benefit from Sr Aquinata Boeckmann's approach, eg in her Perspectives on the Rule of St Benedict (2005), pub. Collegeville.
Dom Hugh Gilbert's books: Unfolding the Mystery (2007) and Living the Mystery (2008) and The Tale of Quisquis, published since he has become a bishop.
Gregory Collins OSB: Meeting Christ in his Mysteries (2010) pub. Columba.
Maria Boulding OSB: Gateway to Resurrection (2010) pub. Continuum, is shot through with the Paschal dimension of Benedictine life.
Anything by Michael Casey OCSO!

Reflections on the Rule of St Benedict: Introduction

We wanted the Rule of St Benedict (RB) to pulse through the website as it does through our life, hence the decision that the daily portion of the Rule, read in most Benedictine monasteries and by many individuals, should feature on the Home Page. The version selected is that of Dom Justin McCann OSB published by the Stanbrook Abbey Press in 1937 and used here by kind permission of the Ampleforth Abbey Trust. There are several reasons for this choice: first of all, we feel it still reads as an elegant translation, then we wish to celebrate cooperation between the Ampleforth and Stanbrook communities over many years, and thirdly, perhaps the old-fashioned thees and thous can actually help us approach the Rule of St Benedict thoughtfully. For all its relevance, RB remains an ancient text which needs careful unpacking.

To accompany the extracts of the Rule we hope to post reflections, initially from members of the Stanbrook Community. These do not aim to be scholarly commentaries of which there are many excellent editions available. Rather, the reflections allow us to re-visit the Rule, to try to listen to its familiar voice anew, and to share thoughts via this forum.

Your comments are welcome via


CHAPTER XII   Lauds on Sundays should begin with the sixty-sixth psalm chanted straight through without an antiphon.

The words of the psalmist touching my lips and beating in my heart from ages past, still resounding and resonating today, pulsing through all that I do, bringing me to an encounter with my Lord.




CHAPTER XIII   Let two other psalms be said according to custom

For the comfort and stability of our custom of singing and chanting Psalms unceasingly around our world, I thank you Lord.



CHAPTER XIII  The Offices of Lauds and Vespers should never be allowed to pass without the superior at the end of all reciting the Lord￿s Prayer

A chance to heal the wounds we have inflicted on ourselves and others by thorns of scandal. Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness.




CHAPTER XIV   On the feast of Saints￿ the psalms, antiphons and lessons belonging to the particular day are to be said

Uniting us as one body with people who inspire us by their example. Lord, help me to pray these words with sincerity.




CHAPTER XV  Alleluia

A joyful cry! I know we are not supposed to use this during Lent but I do find that I sing it spontaneously when I am feeling particularly joyful and this often happens during Lent.




CHAPTER XVI  Render praise to our Creator

Lord, hear our shouts of praise as we pray these ancient words. Our hearts and souls soar with love of you. Never let me forget to thank you.





CHAPTER XVII   We have already settled the psalmody of Matins and Lauds; let us now look at the remaining Hours

No matter how many times we pray a psalm it always changes us, moves us, fills us with joy or shocks us. Each word of every psalm is a stitch binding us to the past and the present strengthening our connections making us a stronger body in prayer.