Chapter, Monastic

Chapter, Monastic.

This was held in winter after tierce, but after prime in summer. At the sound of a bell, rung by the prior, the monks entered two and two, and bowed to a cross in the centre of the room, to the superior's chair, and to one another. The ordinary business transacted comprised reading the martyrology, announcement of coming festivals, reading the rule, or, on Sundays and holy-days, a homily of the fathers, commemoration of the departed and living benefactors, nomination of celebrants and the officiating priest for the week ensuing, public confession of faults, infliction of. penance and discipline, and once a year recital of charters. The novice was admitted in chapter; the superior was elected, and the great officers of the house were confirmed in it; the inventory of the library was also carefully inspected in chapter every Lent. In the secular chapter, held after prime, all business connected with the church, the services, and lands was transacted, and all disputes determined. Every canon had his voice in chapter, and his stall in choir. In 1279 there were two general archidiaconal chapters and four quarterly ruridecanal chapters held yearly in England.

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