Positions of Responsibility in a Monastery

Positions of Responsibility in a Monastery

Monks were granted positions of responsibility in a monastery if they performed their abilities well, so the monastery ran in an efficient way. Each position was created so the various monastery sections worked in harmony together - the kitchens, guest house, infirmary and more.

Abbot: This was the man appointed to lead the monks in a monastery. Abbots were viewed as very educated men, a positive example for monks and a very holy man.
Almoner: These were monks whose duty was to care for the poor whenever they came to the almonry. An almoner and his monk assistants typically washed the poor’s feet when they visited the almonry on Thursdays.
Cellarer: Cellarers were monks put in charge of a bakehouse and brewhouse.
Chamberlain: The chamberlain’s responsibility was to look after the monks’ everyday essentials, e.g. clean bedding, hot water for washing and shaving, maintaining the washing area hygiene, overseeing the conditions of habits, cleaning the cloister etc.
Hosteller: Hostellers were monks who looked after guesthouse visitors.
Infirmarian: An infirmarian was a monk in charge of the infirmary.
Kitchener: Kitcheners were monks in charge of the kitchen; and they had to obey the cellarers.
Precentor: Precentors were monks who oversaw the writing within a monastery.
Sacrist: Sacrists looked after the treasure in a monastery when it was displayed publicly - they would sit in a watching chamber to keep watch over visitors to the monastery.

Whoever worked very hard laid a foundation of succeeding an abbot when the abbot died.

See also: 

Medieval Monastries

Positions of Responsibility in a Monastery

MLA Citation/Reference

"Positions of Responsibility in a Monastery". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.