35. The Weekly Kitchen Servers
The brothers should serve each other by turns, and no one should be excused from kitchen duty except for the sick or those engaged in some crucial service, 2 for in this way they gain a greater reward and greater love.
3 Let the weak, however, have help so that they may do this without sadness. 4 Indeed, all should have help as the number of the community or the situation of the place may require. 5 If the community is larger, let the manager be excused from the kitchen, and anyone else, as we have said, who is engaged in matters of greater service.
6 Let all the rest serve one another, in turn, with love.
7 Let the one finishing the week’s service on Saturday do the cleaning. 8 They are to wash the towels that the brothers use to wipe their hands and feet. 9 Then, both the one finishing as well as the one beginning are to wash the feet of all. 10 The utensils of his service he should hand back to the manager clean and intact. 11 The manager should then hand them out to the one beginning, and in this way he knows what he hands out and what he gets back.
12 Now an hour before the meal, the weekly servers should each receive a drink and some bread over and above the appointed portion, 13 so that they may serve their brothers at mealtime without murmuring or hardship. 14 On solemn feast days, however, they should keep the fast until after the concluding prayers.
15 On Sunday, as soon as Matins are ended, let both those beginning and those ending their week bow down before the knees of all in the oratory, asking prayers for themselves. 16 Let the one finishing his week say this verse:
Blessed are you, Lord God,
who have helped me and comforted me. (Dan 3:52; Ps 86:17)
17 After the one finishing has said this three times and has received a blessing, the one beginning follows and says:
O God, come to my assistance,
O Lord make haste to help me. (Ps 70:2)
18 This is also repeated three times by all; and having received a blessing, let him begin.