Advertisement

The Religious Rules

  • Anne Bagnall Yardley
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

The rule of a monastic community sets the framework and theological understanding of shared life. St. Benedict expresses the relationship of liturgical song to religious belief in the nineteenth chapter of his rule, including the emphasis on the importance of agreement between the heart and voice. A popular chorister’s prayer even today admonishes each singer to “take heed that what you sing with your lips you believe in your heart and practice in your life.” Thus the expected results of the choral recitation of the offices were and are the creation and nurture of a core piety that bears the fruits of the spirit. Through the daily constant chanting of the psalms, antiphons, and responsories, each monastic internalizes the creeds and scriptures of the faith in a deeply resonant song that echoes in the spirit even when the actual sound dies away. In this way the monk or nun follows St. Paul’s dictum to pray unceasingly.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 5.
    Bertram Colgrave and R.A.B. Mynors, eds., Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, book 4, chapter 6 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), p. 354.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    Christopher Page, The Owl and the Nightingale: Musical Life and Ideas in France 1100–1300 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1989), p. 185.Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    For a much more detailed and complex discussion of the relationship of music, body, and gender, see Bruce W. Holsinger, Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001). He discusses Boethius in several places, notably in pages 13–15.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    Nancy Bradley Warren, Spiritual Economies: Female Monasticism in Later Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), p. 30.Google Scholar
  5. 25.
    Nicholas Watson, “Censorship and Cultural Change in Late Medieval England: Vernacular Theology, the Oxford Translation Debate, and Arundel’s Constitutions of 1409,” Speculum 70:4(October 1995):825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 31.
    Jeanne Krochalis, “The Benedictine Rule for Nuns: Library of Congress, MS 4,” Manuscripta 30(1986):22 (f. 36r of the manuscript).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 41.
    See Thomas Frederick Simmons, The Lay Folks Mass Book or the Manner of Hearing Mass with rubrics and Devotions for the People in Four Texts E.E.T.S., o.s. 20 (London: N. Trübner, 1879).Google Scholar
  8. 56.
    Denis Renevey and Christiania Whitehead, eds., Writing Religious Women: Female Spiritual and Textual Practices in Late Medieval England (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000), p. 3.Google Scholar
  9. 58.
    J.–P. Migne, Sancti Aurelii Augustini, Patrologiae Latinae, 33:2 (Paris: venit apud editorem, 1865), p. 960.Google Scholar
  10. 60.
    Helena M. Chew, “Abbey of Lacock,” in A History of Wiltshire, ed. R.B. Pugh and Elizabeth Crittall, Victoria History of the Counties of England, vol. 3(London: Oxford University Press, 1956), p. 309.Google Scholar
  11. 61.
    W.H. Blaauw, “Episcopal Visitations of the Benedictine Nunnery of Easebourne,” Sussex Archeological Collections 9(1857):10–11.Google Scholar
  12. 62.
    A. Hamilton Thompson, ed., Visitations of Religious Houses in the Diocese of Lincoln, Lincoln Record Society, vol. 14 (Horncastle: W.K. Morton and Sons, 1918), p. 125.Google Scholar
  13. 63.
    A.T. Bannister, ed., Registrum Thome Spofford Episcopi Herefordensis, A.D. MCCCCXXn —MCCCCXLVin, Canterbury and York Society, vol. 23 (London: 120 Chancery Lane, 1919), p. 81.Google Scholar
  14. 67.
    David Knowles and R. Neville Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (London: Longman Group, 1971), p. 283.Google Scholar
  15. 68.
    For a very detailed study of Dartford Priory, see Paul Lee, Nunneries, Learning and Spirituality in Late Medieval English Society: The Dominican Priory of Dartford (Woodbridge, Suffolk: York Medieval Press in association with Boydell Press, 2001).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anne Bagnall Yardley 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Bagnall Yardley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations