The Carthusian Order

Statutes

Ch. 1 Prologue
Ch. 2 Praise of Life in Solitude
Book 1 : The Cloister Monks
Ch. 3 The Cloister Monks
Ch. 4 The Keeping of Cell and Silence
Ch. 5 Occupations in Cell
Ch. 6 The Observance of Enclosure
Ch. 7 Fasting and Abstinence
Ch. 8 The Novice
Ch. 9 The Novice-Master
Ch. 10 Profession
Book 2 : The Lay Monks
Ch. 11 The Lay Monks
Ch. 12 Solitude
Ch. 13 Enclosure
Ch. 14 Silence
Ch. 15 Work
Ch. 17 The Novice
Ch. 18 Profession
Ch. 19 Donation
Ch. 20 The Formation of the Brothers
Book 3 : The Community
Ch. 21 The Daily Celebration of the Liturgy
Ch. 22 Of Life in Common
Ch. 23 The Prior
Ch. 26 The Procurator
Ch. 27 The Sick
Ch. 28 Poverty
Ch. 29 The Care and Administration of Temporal Goods
Ch. 30 Stability
Book 4 : The Order
Ch. 31 The Government of the Order
Ch. 32 The Canonical Visitation
Ch. 33 Conversion of Life
Ch. 34 The Function of our Order in the Life of the Church
Ch. 35 The Statutes Themselves
Book 5 : Rites and Acts of Carthusian Life
Ch. 36 Rites of Carthusian Life
Ch. 38 Election of a Prior
Book 6 : The Liturgical Seasons
Ch. 41 The Liturgy in our Order
Ch. 52 Liturgical Chant
Ch. 53 Ceremonies of the Community during the Divine Office
Ch. 54 Ceremonies for the Office in Cell
Book 9 : Sacraments and Suffrages
Ch. 62 The Sacraments
Ch. 65 Suffrages

Statutes

Book 6 : The Liturgical Seasons

Chapter 41


The Liturgy in our Order « »

End and Source

  1. The Liturgy is at once both the end to which the action of the Church tends and at the same time the source from which flows all her strength. We who have left everything to seek God alone and to possess him more fully, should carry out the liturgical functions with particular reverence. For when we accomplish the Liturgy, especially the Eucharistic celebration, we have access to the Father through his Son, the Word Incarnate who suffered and was glorified, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus we achieve communion with the Most Holy Trinity.

A Sign of Contemplation

  1. When we celebrate the divine worship in choir, or recite the Office in cell, it is the prayer of the Church which is being offered by our lips; for the prayer of Christ is one, and through the Sacred Liturgy, this one prayer is wholly present in each member. But among solitary monks, liturgical acts manifest in a special way the nature of the Church in which the human is directed and subjected to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation.

A Complement to Solitary Prayer

  1. Throughout the centuries, our Fathers have taken care that our rite should remain suited to our eremitical vocation and the smallness of our communities, by being simple and sober and ordered primarily to the union of the soul with God. For we know that Mother Church has always approved of a diversity of liturgical rites by which her catholic and undivided nature is all the more clearly manifested. Thus, through the sacred rites, we are able to express the deeper aspirations of the Spirit, and prayer, springing from the depths of the heart, when it finds an echo in the sacred words of the Liturgy, acquires a new perfection.

Liturgy perfected by Solitary Prayer

  1. Again, communal prayer, which we make our own through the liturgical action, is carried over into solitary prayer by which we offer to God an intimate sacrifice of praise, transcending all words. For the solitude of the cell is the place where a soul, enamored of silence, and forgetful of human cares, becomes a sharer in the fullness of the mystery by which Christ crucified, rising from the dead, returns to the bosom of the Father. A monk, therefore, provided he strives continually to cling to God, exemplifies within himself what is signified by the entire Liturgy.

Chapitre 52


Liturgical Chant « »

Our Way of Chanting and the Psalmody

  1. Our Order recognizes in the Gregorian chant an integral part of its Liturgy. We ought to take part in the Divine Office with vigor and purity so as to stand before the Lord with reverence and a ready will, not lazily nor half asleep, not sparing our voices nor clipping our words, but with virility, as is fitting, letting the Holy Spirit inspire both heart and voice as we sing.
    Simplicity and measure should so regulate the chant that its hallmark will be a gravity which will encourage the spirit of devotion, for we should sing and praise the Lord with mind and voice. We sing best when we enter into the sentiments with which the psalms and canticles were written.
  2. The psalmody should be neither too long and drawn out nor too quick. It should be rendered with a voice that is full, lively and clear, so that all can sing with devotion and attention, without any shouting, and combining depth of feeling with diligence in execution.
  3. We make a substantial pause in the middle of the verse. At the beginning, the middle and the end of the verse we both start and finish together. No one should presume to start before the others nor to sing faster than they do; we should sing together and pause together, always listening to the voices of the others.
  4. As far as possible, in every text be it the lessons, the psalms or the chant the accentuation and the interrelationship of the words should not be neglected, for the correct phrasing of the words is of the greatest help for grasping and relishing the meaning.
  5. It is of the greatest importance that novices should be properly instructed in the chant, and those are to be praised who, once they have left the novitiate, do not neglect this study.
  6. In the Houses of the Order both the night and the day Offices are to be celebrated with chant whenever there are at least six fathers present who are in good health.
  1. The Chanters put in charge of the two choirs should be so instructed and experienced that they give others good and timely direction in the psalmody and the chant according to the principles laid down above, but always under the direction and the authority of the Prior. They have further the task of gently correcting those who sing either too slowly or too quickly, or otherwise than is laid down, but it is better that they should do this outside the choir.
  2. In their own choir, the Chanters raise or lower the pitch of the psalms and also of the rest of the chant, as seems expedient, so that all can sing without strain.
    When the Chanters are present, no one else is to correct the choir except the Prior, or in his absence, the Vicar.
  1. Let us observe this manner of chanting, singing in the sight of the most Holy Trinity and the holy angels, penetrated with fear of God and aflame with a deep desire. May the songs we sing raise our minds to the contemplation of eternal realities, and our voices blend into one cry of jubilation before God our Creator.

Chapitre 53


Ceremonies of the Community during the Divine Office « »

The Way We Enter Church

  1. As soon as the bell is heard for those Hours of the Divine Office which we sing together in church, we leave all other occupations and hasten to church with the greatest reverence and decorum. For nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.
  2. As we enter church we take holy water and after making a profound bow to the Blessed Sacrament we go to our place in choir. We also make a profound bow at the sanctuary steps whenever we either go on to or leave the sanctuary and whenever we pass in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
    After entering the stalls, we stand facing the altar with our hoods up, preparing ourselves in silence for the Office; when the President gives the signal we either incline or kneel for the silent prayer, according to the time.
    We do not enter the church during the period of private prayer which precedes the Office.

Prayer in Silence

  1. (...) Such periods of silence allow our personal prayer to be more deeply fused with the Word of God and with the public prayer of the Church.

The Sign of the Cross

  1. Out of respect for the divine majesty, we avoid all noise in church. We conduct ourselves with decorum and always keep our hands outside the cowl. Our eyes should be guarded always and everywhere, but most of all in church and refectory.
  1. After the singing of the Hours, or of the Mass or of any other Office, the Prior leaves the church first, then the Vicar, then the others follow. No one should remain in church or elsewhere, unless evident necessity excuses him.

Chapitre 54


Ceremonies for the Office in Cell « »
  1. If sometimes manifest weakness or excessive weariness compels us to sit during the Office, or if we are confined to bed with sickness, nevertheless we try to show as much reverence as possible when we recite the Office.
    Everywhere, when we say the Divine Office, we must do so with reverence and decorum since the majesty and divinity of him whom we address and before whom we stand is everywhere the same, both watching over us and listening to us.
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