The Focus of a Medieval Monastery

From what I come to understand is that a Medieval monastery consisted of a regular round of worship, reading, and manual labor. Every day from beginning to ending with services in the monastery church. In addition to their attendance at church, the monks spent several hours in reading from the Bible, private prayer, and meditation. They worked hard with their hands, doing the necessary washing and cooking for the monastery, raising the necessary supplies of vegetables and grain, and performing all the other tasks required to maintain the monastery. The appeal was that a Medieval monastery was like a  library in a way. A Medieval monastery kept records of the most recalling events during that time and perhaps acted as guide of medieval history of the Middle Ages.

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8 Responses to The Focus of a Medieval Monastery

  1. The project being done in Southern Germany is interesting. I would not expect craftsmen’s of today working on a construction site without any use of machines. On top of that, they will wear what builders wore from many centuries ago besides the safety gear. It is definitely going to be a big tourist attraction to see how people use to live and work back then. Like what Michael says about the medieval monastery their daily lives were mainly working by hand and being consistent with the amount of food. They seemed to have a very organized living system on how to sleep, eat and dress so that when the monks pass away, they will go to heaven according to the Rule of St. Benedict.

  2. Hi Guys,
    I am also in an introductory to poetry class but I am alos taking Art history. My name is Dixie. Hey Kris. Medieval Monasteries were little communities sort of like a self sufficient village that were created during the Middle ages. There was a ranking system called a pyramid. The top was the Pope and the very last rank was the Monk. However Monks could rise to become diferent positions. In the Monastery there were inns, a hospital, a school. They even housed pilgrims that were passing through. They worshipped for some part of the day but for most of the day they labord very hard, cooking, washing, farming. They pretty much took care of the entire monastery. I happen to live around the corner form a house that houses about 25 monks. I see them everyday in their robes with their cloths around their neck. I say hi to them but they never answer. I really dont resent them I just wish I understood them a bit more. They seem like pretty cool dudes. I mean some of them look about my age. I am pretty sure that life as a monk in Brooklyn in 2012 is nowhere as hard workas it was in the Middle ages. What do you think Kris?

  3. jsylvesterd says:

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Jessica, I am also taking a poetry class and was just browsing through different courses. This blog caught my eye because I find the life of monks to be very interesting. Their dedication seems almost unrealistic and Michael M. gave a great summary of their duties. To answer Dixie’s question I believe being a monk is harder in 2012 because the temptations are greater. They are exposed to many aspects of life and must increase their dedication in order to remain faithful to their religion.

  4. famuel13 says:

    I’m part of another course and find the topic of Medieval Monastery interesting. I’m sure the way you interpreted the actions of these monks makes it seem like they had a lot of work to do, but I think otherwise. They probably were more concerned with their faith and did take religion very seriously, but I’m sure they were patient with their actions. It’s nice to know they were hard working towards what they believed in, but history always seems to be exaggerated and feel there is more simple details behind what we are told.

  5. Sandra Cheng says:

    Thanks Michael for starting the thread, and you’re right, the goal was for monasteries to be self-sufficient. Also welcome Poets (are you from Prof Gold’s class?) and a special hello to Dixie who’s in my online class, which is run somewhat differently from this my face-to-face course. To everyone, feel free to explore the site!

  6. Pingback: My Experience | ENGL 2003: Introduction to Poetry

  7. acgo15 says:

    It is interesting how Monks were able to be self sufficient in the monastery. They must have learned how to be very efficient. It takes a lot of dedication for them to stay at the monastery and dedicating themselves to leave a simple life.

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