Sept 15 – Monastic Fast

Chapter 41 of The Rule of St. Benedict sets “The Times for the Brothers’ Meals” based on the liturgical and natural seasons of the year.

The “monastic fast” begins in mid-September (which is now marked by the FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS) and continues until Ash Wednesday. While the whole life of a monk should have a character of self-denial . . . we express this communally in our monastic fast with a simple breakfast and a supper devoid of desserts. When we arrive at Ash Wednesday we will add another measure of fasting in union with the whole Church’s Lenten Fast until Easter. 


from Community Guidelines of New Melleray Abbey

Our monastic fast is from September 15th to [Ash Wednesday], except on certain feast days.  This finds concrete expression in having only light meals morning and evening.  Beyond this, each brother, moved by God’s grace, fasts according to his ability with the permission of the abbot.