Chapter house

For Benedict, communal life includes the binding Rule that applies to all and an abbot who leads the community.

The chapter house is the room that represents the bindingness of the Rule for the community. After all, a monk’s vows bind him to both God and to a certain community.

As often as any special business has to be transacted in the monastery, let the abbot convoke the whole community and himself state what is the matter in hand. And having listened to the counsel of the brethren, let him settle the matter in his own mind and do what seems to him most expedient. “And we have thus said that all are to be called to council because it is often to a junior that the Lord reveals what is best.” (Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 3).

However, Benedict also wants the abbot to regularly seek the advice of the brothers. In the Rule of Saint Benedict, the chapters regarding the requirements for the abbot and the calling of the brethren to council follow each other directly. They relate to each other and belong together.

Once a month, the entire community convenes for the “Council of the Brethren”, the “chapter”. Thus the chapter house is the venue for shared consultation, votes, decisions, disputes and conflict resolution.

Andechs Monastery Emblem

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