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1. Abbreviated RRP. The final English translation of this document was published in 1974, replacing the translation for interim use which appeared in 1971. Our references are to the final version.

2. The most extensive collection of medieval profession rites remains that of Dom Edmund Martine, De antiquis ecclesiae ritibus (4 vols.; Antwerp, 1736), II, 45 1-496; IV, 625-659. Subsequently this work will be abbreviated AER. Dom Gueranger also availed himself of materials from this collection. See Dom Paul Delatte, The Rule of St. Benedict, trans. Dom Justin McCann (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1921), p. 376, n. 1.

3. See Ambrose Wathen, O.S.B., "Monastic Institute of Federation of Americas 1973," The American Benedictine Review 25 2(1974), 236-286. Valuable papers on the same topic, delivered at a symposium sponsored by the Irish Cistercians in October 1976, appear in Cistercian Studies XII (1977), 3-100, 101-167.

4. RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict, ed. Timothy Fry, O.S.B. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1981).

5. Martine, AER IV, 626A; Delatte, p. 375.

6. Rituale Monasticum (Beuron, 1931), pp. 77- 92.

7. "The rite of first profession provides for the presentation of the habit and other signs of religious life, following the very ancient custom of giving the habit at the end of the period of probation; for the habit is a sign of consecration." (RRP Intro. 5).

8. Instruction on the Renewal of Religious Formation, 34, 1 (United States Catholic Conference, 1969), p. 18.

9. Rituale Monasticum, p. 93.

10. Martene, AER IV, 640C.

11. Rituale Monasticum, p. 102.

12. Ibid., p. 95.

13. Ibid., p. 96.

14. Professio temporaria emittitur in Capitulo. Ibid., p. 93.

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15. Capitula Theodori, can. 2; ed. F. W.H. Wasserschlebcn, Die Bussordnungen der abendlandischen Kirche (reprint; Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsansalt, 1958), p. 145.

16. Pontificale Romano-Germanicum saeculi Decimi, XXIX, 1; ed. Cyrille Vogel and Reinhard Elze, Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique du dixieme siecle (2 vols., "Studi e Testi ," nos. 226, 227; Vatican City: Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1963), I, 72.

17. This anthem is not found in the Beuronese ritual but has been part of the American-Cassinese profession rite since 1875.

18. Interesting patristic and medieval interpretations of these verses are available in J.M. Neale and R.F. Littledale, A Commentary on the Psalms (4th ed ; 4 vols.; London: Joseph Masters and Co., 1884), I, 533-536, 540-541. In the present essay the psalms are numbered according to the Vulgate.

19. Rituale Monasticum, p. 101.

20. See for example RB 2:6 ,9 ; 3:11; 55:22; 65:22.

21. Martene, AER IV, 640B.

22. Cornelius Justice, "Evolution of the Teaching of Commitment by Monastic Vow from New Testament Times to the Ninth Century,  Cistercian Studies XII (1977), 26, n. 27.

23. Martene, AER IV, 641C.

24. Ildefons Herwegen OSB, "Geschichte der benediktinischen Profeissformel," in Beitrage zur Geschichte des alten Monchtums und des Benediktinerordens III (Munster in Wesfalen : Aschendorff, 1912), 38- 39.

25. Justice, p. 29.

26. Martene, AER IV, 640C.

27. Justice, p. 30.

28. Delatte, p. 397, n. 1.

29. Ibid., p. 397.

30. Rituale Monasticum, p. 102.

31. The preparatory character of the litany as conceived by the Roman rite is made explicit in the concluding oration, which reads: "Lord, grant the prayers of your people. Prepare the hearts of your servants for consecration to your service." (RRP III, 63. Italics added).

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32. The singing of the petitio derives from the Ordinary of Jumieges, which says that the novices legant professiones in tone lectionis. See Martene, ABR II, 457E.

33. Justice, p. 26, n. 28.

34. In the thirteenth century Bernard of Monte Cassino distinguished three ways in which the monk is bound to God: by the word of his mouth, by the written document, and by the oath which placing the document on the altar signifies. He writes: Vide igitur quod quasi tribus modis se monachus obligat: 1) quidem se obligat verbo, 2) scripto, 3) quodammodojuramento. Primo in promissione voti, secundo in confessione ye! signatione scripti, tertio impositione ipsius scripturae super altare in qua est ostensio juramenti, vel con firmatio voti. Cited from Edmund Marteme, ed., S. P. Benedicti Regula cum Commentariis (PL 66, 826A).

>35. Delatte, p. 398.

36. Instructive comments on this verse from patristic and medieval literature maybe found in Neale-Littledale, IV, 108-109’.

37 Delatte, p. 398.

38. Hildemar explained the sense of the suscipe in this manner Domine, eloquium tuum est, quo dixisti, Qui reliquerit omnia quae possidet, centuplum accipiet, etc. Et ecce ego propter hoc eloquium, id est praeceptum tuum deserui saeculum, et omnibus meis abrenuntiavi; et nunc rogo ut suscipias me. Cited from Martene, Regula (PL 66, 826C).

39. See Delatte, pp. 398- 99.

40. AER IV, 648E- 649B.

41. Rituale Monasticum, pp. 108-110.

42. Dam Marius Ferotin, ed., Le Liber Ordinum ("Monumenta ecclesiae liturgica," Vol. 5; Paris: Firmin-Didot et Cie., 1904), cols. 83-84.

43. Justice, p. 37.

44. The Celestial and Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Ch. 6; cited from Justice, p. 37.

45. Capitula Theodori, can. 2; ed. Wasserschleben, p. 145.

46. Pontificale Romano-Germanicum saeculi Decimi, XXIX, 1- 4; ed. Vogel- Elze I, 72-74.

47. For a comprehensive study of this question based on a thorough examination of eastern and western texts, see Odo Casel O.S.B., Die Monchsweihe, in Jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft V (1925), 1-47.

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48. The notion of monastic consecration in the technical sense does not seem to have been common even in the early twentieth century. Delatte says nothing of it in the body of his commentary, and appears in fact to exclude the idea when he remarks: "According to the ancient monastic canons, the Abbot should himself celebrate the Mass, if he can, and receive the profession, thus performing the 'blessing' of the monk. In liturgical parlance it is not a 'consecration' for monks do not form part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy... " (p. 394, n. 2).

49. Rituale Monasticum,  pp. 108-117.

50. Claude Peifer, O.S.B., Monastic Spirituality (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1966), p. 176.

51. Ibid.

52. Rituale Monasticum, p. 105.

53. Martene, AER II, 453 C; 455B. It is also attested in the Pontificale Romano-Germanicum saeculi Decimi, XXVIII, 2; ed. Vogel- Elze, I, 70.

54. Cited from Martene, Regula (PL 66, 837C).

55. Ibid.,  (PL 66, 837D).

56. Delatte, p. 399. The seeds of this dialog are present in the Statutes of Lanfranc, Ch. 19 (Martene, AER IV, 646A-D).

57. see the Pontificale Romano-Germanicum saeculi Decimi, XXVIII; ed. Vogel - Elze, I, 70-72.

58. Rituale Monasticum, p. 119.

59. Martene, AER IV, 655A.

60. Nathan Mitchell, 0.S.B., "Documentation and Proposals concerning Rite of Profession, Historical Synopsis," Presentation to the 1975 General Chapter at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Typewritten copy, p. 10.

61. Delatte, p. 401, n. 3.

62. Ibid., p. 40l.

63. The entire text reads: In monachi ordinatione abbas debet missam agere et tres orationes complere super caput ejus et VII dies velat caput suum cocollo suo et septimo die abbas tollat velamen id de capite monachi, sicut in baptismo presbyter septimo die velamen infantium abstullit, ita et abbas debet monacho, quia secundum baptismum est juxta judicium patrum, et omnia peccata dimittuntur sicut in baptismo. Capitula Theodori, can. 2; ed. Wasserschleben, p. 145.

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64. Martene, AER II, 462D.

65 Ibid., 657A.

66. Nathan Mitchell, O.S.B., "More Recent History of the Rites of Monastic Profession," Presentation to the 1975 General Chapter at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Typewritten copy, pp. 1, 3-4.

67. Ibid., pp. 2, 5.

68. Rituale Monasticum,  p. 104-107.

69. Victor Turner, "Color Classification in Ndembu Ritual: A Problem of Classification," in The Foresta! Symbols (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), p. 89.

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