Holy Cross Abbey

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Holy Cross Abbey: The Cistercian plan grouped the building in a square with the church on the North side, an East range including the sacristy, chapter house and parlour, the kitchen and refectory (dining hall) on the South side, and in the West Range, the cellars and foodstores. In the centre was the cloister garth, a grass-covered square with a roofed-in walk around it. On the first floor in the East Range was the dormitory for the choir monks while the dormitory of the lay brothers was similarly provided in the West range.

Life was austere and silent, devoted to prayer and work. Community prayer was distributed over seven periods each day, beginning at 2 am, and consisted of the chanting of the Divine Office (psalms and readings); there was also the Conventual (community) Mass. The abbey church was bare and plain, with whitewashed walls which reflected light coming mainly from the windows on the North side.

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