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Today’s Reading from the Rule of Benedict

March 24, 2010


Chapter 44: How the Excommunicated Are to Make Satisfaction

One who for serious faults is excommunicated
from oratory and table
shall make satisfaction as follows.
At the hour when the celebration of the Work of God is concluded
in the oratory,
let him lie prostrate before the door of the oratory,
saying nothing, but only lying prone with her face to the ground
at the feet of all as they come out of the oratory.
And let him continue to do this
until the Abbot judges that satisfaction has been made.
Then, when he has come at the Abbot’s bidding,
let him cast himself first at the Abbot’s feet
and then at the feet of all,
that they may pray for him.

And next, if the Abbot so orders,
let him be received into the choir,
to the place which the Abbot appoints,
but with the provision that he shall not presume
to intone Psalm or lesson or anything else in the oratory
without a further order from the Abbot.

Moreover, at every Hour,
when the Work of God is ended,
let him cast herself on the ground in the place where he stands.
And let him continue to satisfy in this way
until the Abbot again orders him finally to cease
from this satisfaction.

But those who for slight faults are excommunicated
only from table
shall make satisfaction in the oratory,
and continue in it till an order from the Abbot,
until he blesses them and says, “It is enough.”

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