Every day, rain or shine, we monks gather in the chapter room at 8:30 am. There we hear announcements from the Abbot or if another monk has an announcement, such as a request for help in a work project or a request for prayers for someone in need, a family member or friend, for example. Following announcements, if there are any, we finalize the work details of the day.
The Abbot then reads the chapter, or a portion of the chapter, of the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict assigned for that day, and makes a brief commentary. The name “chapter room” or “chapter house” derives from the place where monks hear a “chapter” of the Holy Rule read to them each day. It is an important element for keeping in mind the Rule of Saint Benedict that we follow as monks in community.
After the Abbot’s commentary on the Rule, we listen to the names of the monks and nuns of our Subiaco Cassinese Congregation who have died on that day, some stretching back to over a century, and others as recent as last year. We then sing Psalm 129, the “De profundis,” which begins, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,” a fitting prayer for remembering all the faithful departed. The gathering concludes with chanting the prayer “May the angels lead you into Paradise,” then we go to church and pray the Office of Terce, the first of the “Little Hours.”
The morning “work meeting,” as we call it, in fact encompassing a number of elements, normally lasts about fifteen minutes. Today’s photo is of our chapter room, before or after our meeting, with the lights turned off!
We keep you in our daily prayers and are grateful for yours.
Abbot Christian and the monks