Click here for pdf of whole Rule: RB37

Between May and September 2018 the reflections on the Rule are by Christine Pritchard. Mother, grandmother, and retired French teacher, Chris has been an oblate of Stanbrook for ten years. In the reflections she considers how the Rule might be translated into a family setting.
Scroll down below the booklist and introduction to find the reflections.
Comments are welcome via
secretary@stanbrookabbey.org.uk



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 secretary@stanbrookabbey.org.uk





18 June Chapter 14           How the Night Office is to be performed on Saints’ Days

The week has its rhythm, as does the weekend and its joys, and Saints days (lay equivalent – Bank Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries?) – break up the run of the mill.  All families have their little traditions – for us it was a small ‘unbirthday’ present for the one without the birthday, and homemade cards on Saints Name days.

 

19 June Chapter 15           At what Seasons Alleluia is to be said

If every day was a full Alleluia day, its lustre would soon fade.  Some anniversaries are greater than others – birthdays with a 0 on, Silver Weddings etc.  They are all part of the routine of life to be savoured by all on the day.

 

20 June Chapter 16           How the Work of God is to be performed in the Daytime

Many monasteries have rationalised the Office; for example Prime, Terce, Sext, and None are compressed into one.  Not many lay people would be able to fulfil Benedict’s instructions to the letter, but the Office can be addictive; one starts with a small portion and somehow finds time for more.

 

21 June Chapter 17           How many Psalms are to be sung at these hours

The same but different – a little variety to the basic plan.  Family life is a basic framework with constant adjustments to suit the development of the members.

 

22 June Chapter 18           In what Order the Psalms are to be said

Family life is not based around a written timetable, but it does need a structure, constantly changing and adapting as the members grow.  Children in a chaotic family unit are denied the chance to thrive. A basic prayer structure can help here too.

 

23 June              In what Order the Psalms are to be said 2

The daily grind rolls on – yet it has shape and is a firm base to build on

 

24 June          In what Order the Psalms are to be said 3

Another part of the structure of the day.  Is this relevant outside the monastery?  Every family needs a basic structure, not formally written down, but one which adapts to the ages of the family, to provide a secure framework in which the members can thrive.
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18 June Chapter 15           At what Seasons Alleluia is to be said

If every day was a full Alleluia day, its lustre would soon fade.  Some anniversaries are greater than others � birthdays with a 0 on, Silver Weddings etc.  They are all part of the routine of life to be savoured by all on the day.

 

19 June Chapter 16           How the Work of God is to be performed in the Daytime

Many monasteries have rationalised the Office; for example Prime, Terce, Sext, and None are compressed into one.  Not many lay people would be able to fulfil Benedict�s instructions to the letter, but the Office can be addictive; one starts with a small portion and somehow finds time for more.

 

20 June Chapter 17           How many Psalms are to be sung at these hours

The same but different � a little variety to the basic plan.  Family life is a basic framework with constant adjustments to suit the development of the members.

 

21 June Chapter 18           In what Order the Psalms are to be said

Family life is not based around a written timetable, but it does need a structure, constantly changing and adapting as the members grow.  Children in a chaotic family unit are denied the chance to thrive. A basic prayer structure can help here too.

 

22 June In what Order the Psalms are to be said 2

The daily grind rolls on � yet it has shape and is a firm base to build on

 

23 June In what Order the Psalms are to be said 3

Another part of the structure of the day.  Is this relevant outside the monastery?  Every family needs a basic structure, not formally written down, but one which adapts to the ages of the family, to provide a secure framework in which the members can thrive.

 

24 June In what Order the Psalms are to be said 4

Benedict sets the bottom line (the full Psalter in 1 week) just as we have to set a basic pattern of work, commitments and activities which allow for the ever-changing family situation.

 




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