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[Ms P, fol. 130r - Paulus Diaconus -
Ps.-Basil: Ms K1, fol. 131r; Ms E1, fol. 146v; Ms. E2, fol. 223v]

Ch. 47

Translated by: Rob Meens

In hoc ergo loco S. Benedictus etiam suum ordinem custodivit, cum dixit de horis, quibus reficiendum erat, et de completorio propter rationem, qua indigebat conjungi [page 475] sibi, et dixit de satisfactione illorum, qui tarde ad horam divini officii vel mensam occurrunt. Deinde (ad) supplendam satisfactionem dixit caetera capitula et modus, et subjunxit, quali et quanto studio ipsae horae congruae significandae sint.

In this place Saint Benedict takes care to follow the order when talking about the hours on which to take a meal and about the completes because [page 475] of the atonement that he failed to attach and when dealing with the satisfaction to be provided by those who are late for the canonical hours or for a meal. To add to [what he said about] satisfaction, he added the other chapters and a proper measure and then he added with how much care these hours are to be signaled.

Sequitur: 1Nuncianda hora operis Dei die noctuque sit sub cura abbatis, aut ipse nunciare aut alii sollicito fratri injungat hanc curam, ut omnia horis competentibus compleantur. 2Psalmos autem vel antiphonas post abbatem ordine suo, quibus jussum fuerit, imponant.

He follows: 1Let announcing the hour for the work of God, both day and night, be the abbot’s responsibility; he should announce it himself or else he can delegate it to a brother so conscientious that everything is completed at the appropriate time. 2Brothers so ordered will lead psalms and antiphons after the abbot, in their order.

Attendendum est, quia non dicit, ut abbas ad libitum suum, i. e. ad suum arbitrium cuidam fratri det hanc curam, sed dicit sollicito. In isto sollicito debet inspicere intellectum et possibilitatem atque studium; intellectum, ut intelligat horas noctis, possibilitatem, ut sanus sit, quatenus possit ministerium perficere, studium, ut non sit piger vel somnolentus.

We should take care that he does not say that the abbot delegates this task to a brother at his whim, that is according to his own judgment, but he says ‘conscientious’. The abbot should therefore carefully examine his comprehension and ability and his zeal. Comprehension so that he understands the nightly hours, ability so that he is healthy enough to fulfill this task, zeal so that he is not sluggish or sleepy.

Ubi dicit omnia, subaudiendum est: officia; competentibus, i. e. horis aptis vel congruis.

Where he says ‘everything’ we should understand ‘all offices’; ‘at the appropriate time’ that is: the right and suitable time.

Quod vero dicit psalmos autem vel antiphonas post abbatem ordine suo, quibus jussum fuerit, imponant, ita intelligendum est: debet frater constitutus esse, qui scribat fratres, qui cantent vel qui legant in dominica et in festis diebus, quid legere aut quid cantare debeant. Deinde debet unus incipere versus, et ille, qui prebendit versum, debet assistere in primo loco in choro, si talis est, qui dignus sit stare in choro; si autem talis est, qui non est dignus stare in choro, sed inante, debet ille, qui in capite infantum est in choro, prehendere versum.

Where he says ‘Brothers so ordered will lead psalms and antiphons after the abbot, in their order’ should be understood as follows: a brother should be installed who writes down the brothers who chant and who read on Sundays and feast days [and] what they should read and sing. Then one should start the verse and the one who furnishes the verse, should stand in the first place in the choir if he is worthy; but if he is such that he is unworthy to stand in the choir, but in front of it, the one who is in front of the children in the choir should say the verse.

Sequitur: 3Cantare autem et legere non praesumat, nisi qui potest ipsum officium implere, ut aedificentur audientes, 4quod cum humilitate et gravitate et tremore fiat, et cui jusserit abbas.  

He follows: 3They should not presume to chant or read unless they can fulfill that duty so as to edify listeners, 4which should be done with humility and gravity and fear by the one the abbot has commanded.

De hoc vero, quod dicit: quod cum humilitate et gravitate fiat, et cui jusserit abbas, et qui ipsum officium implere possit, ut aedificentur audientes, haec omnia ad reverentiam lectionis et cantus attinent.

What he says about ‘which should be done with humility and gravity and fear by the one the abbot has commanded’ and ‘they should not presume to chant or read unless they can fulfill that duty so as to edify listeners’, that all pertains to the devotion for the readings and the chant.

Antiphonas autem propter cantum discendi1 et ad honestatem priorum inlantes [page 476] si possunt, dicere debent.

If they are able, the children must say the antiphons, [page 476] in order to learn the chant and in honour of the elders.

De hoc, quod dicit post abbatem intelligitur, sive sit juxta abbatem, i. e. in secundo loco ab abbate, sive tertio sive etiam in quarto loco steterit post abbatem [intelligitur esse].

About that where he says ‘after the abbot’ this should be understood either as next to the abbot, that is in the second place from the abbot, or in the third or even the fourth place after the abbot.

Et hoc, quod dicit psalmos vel antiphonas post abbatem ordine suo, quibus jussum fuerit, imponant, jam diximus, sed iterum recapitulamus pro eo, quod secundum consuetudinem provinciae suae dixit.

And where he says ‘Brothers so ordered will lead psalms and antiphons after the abbot, in their order’, we already indicated, but we repeat it once more because he spoke according to the custom of his province.

Forte dicit aliquis: 'ideo ita dixit, quia forte fuit consuetudo suae provinciae, imponere unum antiphonas, sicut in ecclesia mediolanensi diaconus solet antiphonas imponere.' Et pulchre de significatione horarum istud capitulum constituit, quia nisi sollicitudo esset de signo tangendi, magna negligentia esset, eo quod ipse Pater Benedictus non omni tempore aequaliter dicit, cantare tertiam et nonam.

Perhaps someone will say: ‘he said it thus because it was perhaps the custom of his province that one (monk) led the antiphons, as the deacon in the church of Milan is used to lead the antiphons.’ And he composed this chapter on the signaling of the hours excellently because if there is no sollicitude about sounding the hours, there may be great negligence because father Benedict does not always indicate in the same manner to sing the third or the ninth hour.

Et hanc curam non aliis constituit, nisi abbati aut fratri sollicito; debet enim abbas hanc curam committere fratri sollicito , qui studiose peragere possit. Unde debet abbas illi sollicito talem licentiam donare, ut etiam si pro se aut forte pro hospite aut aliquid tale non potuerit occurrere horis competentibus ad officium, non exspectant propter ipsum fratres, ut non impleant officium constitutum, mox ut significatae fuerint horae diei atque noctis, quia magnum malum murmurationis esset, si pro sui exspectatione neglectum fuerit studium horarum, et officium non compleatur horis congruis atque statutis temporibus.

And he did not assign this responsibility to others, except to the abbot and a conscientious brother; the abbot should therefore assign this task to a conscientious brother, who is able to accomplish it with due care. Therefore the abbot should give this conscientious brother permission that even when he himself cannot meet the office at the appropriate time for personal reasons or perhaps for a guest or something similar, the brothers should not wait for him and thus fail to fulfill the established office shortly after the hours of the day and night were announced, because the evil of discontent is serious if the office and the devotion of the hours is not carried out at the right hour and the right time because of waiting for him.

1. discendum (?). (Mittermüller).

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