2018 Lenten Observances

 As St. Benedict recommends in Chapter 49 of the Rule, each year our whole community makes an effort to purify our manner of life and wash away any negligences that might have crept into our practices over the past year. This year we will observe community Lenten practices including:

  • Fasting (bread and water at the noon meal) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
  • Abstaining from desserts except on Sundays and Solemnities
  • Serving simple evening suppers of soup, cheese, or equivalent
  • Observing the community meal times for breakfast (4:00a to 6:30a), dinner (immediately after Sext), and supper (4:30p to 6:30p)
  • Moving directly to our place at table at dinner
  • Sitting in our assigned refectory seat for all meals

New Melleray Refectory at the Noon Meal

Additionally, we are encouraged to recall venerable practices of prayer and fasting from our Community Guidelines:

  • “It is incumbent upon each of us to help one another by fostering an environment conducive to our life of prayer” (Guidelines 53).
  • Lectio: “At certain hours each day the brothers apply themselves to sacred reading” (Guidelines 42).
from The Rule of St. Benedict
Chapter 49: The Observance of Lent

The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep the manner of life most pure and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times.

from Constitutions and Statutes
C. 28 Fasting
ST 28.A

For the main meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday the brothers are to be content with bread and water or something similar.