Community on retreat 22-30 July. Services open; shop closed.

At the meals of the brethren there

At the meals of the brethren there should not fail to be reading: nor should the reader be anyone who may chance to take up the book, but let there be a reader for the whole week who shall enter upon his office on Sunday. Let this incoming reader, after Mass and Communion, ask all to pray for him that God may keep him from the spirit of pride. And let him intone the following versicle which shall be said three times in the oratory by all: Domine labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.1 Then, having received a blessing, let him enter upon his reading. And let there be the greatest silence, so that no one’s whisper or voice, but only the reader’s may be heard there. But for the things that they need as they eat and drink, let the brethren pass them to one another so that no one need ask for anything. If, however, there be any need, then let the thing be asked for by means of some audible sign rather than by speech. Nor let anyone venture there to ask questions about the reading or anything else, lest it give occasion to the evil one, unless perchance the superior should wish to say a few words for the edification of the brethren. Let the brother who is the reader of the week be given a little bread and wine before he begins to read, on account of the Holy Communion and lest the fast might be hard for him to bear. Let him have his meal afterwards with the kitchen and table servers of the week. The brethren are not to read and sing according to their order, but those only who give edification to the hearers.

1Ps 1, 17 [O Lord open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise]