History of a Monastery:
|Monastery of the Middle Ages|
Each monastery was like its own community. The monks that lived in the communities didn't need to travel beyond the walls for any necessities. Over time the monastery would grow and the people living inside looked like a small town. They grew to be very wealthy and held some power. A monastery also had its own form of a feudal pyramid. At the top were the Pope, then the Bishop, Arch Bishop, Arch Deacon, then the Abbot. The Abbots had some form of obligation to a higher authority or Lord. After the Abbots you have the Prior, who ran the monastery when the Abbot was absent, the Dean and then finally the Monks. Any Monks in the monastery could move to a higher position.
Monks were very clean shaven men. A monk was distuinguished by their partly shaven hair. They were bald except for a strip of hair around their head, called a Tonsure. The monks Tonsure's indicated that they had recieve clerical status. They spent the day worshipping, reading their sacred text, and laboring. Each day was divided into eight parts, or sacred offices. An average day began with worship in side the church and ended with worship or service inside the monastery church. The began the day as early as two o' clock in the morning, and finished around sun set. Many hours of the day were spent in meditation, prayer, and reading the sacred text. Aside from the spiritual side of the monastery, Monks did a lot of labor and working with their hands. Such as, washing clothes, cooking, raising grain and other necessary supplies needed to keep the monastery running.
Nuns in a Convent:
A Nun in the middle ages spent a life of dedication. They were required to make three vows.
1. The Vow of Poverty
|The Book of Hours|
Blog by: Allison Bradburn and Lauren Lowe