Holy Rule Of Saint Benedict
That No One Speak after Complin
Monks should always be given to silence, especially, however, during
the hours of the night. Therefore, on every day, whether of fast or of
a mid-day meal, as soon as they have risen from their evening meal, let
all sit together in one place, and let one read the Conferences or the
Lives of the Fathers, or something else that will edify the hearers;
not, however, the Heptateuch or the Books of the Kings, because it
would not be wholesome for weak minds to hear this part of the
Scripture at that hour; they should, however, be read at other times.
But if it was a fast-day, then, when Vespers have been said, and after
a short interval, let them next come together for the reading of the
Conferences, as we have said; and when the four or five pages have been
read, or as much as the hour will permit, and all have assembled in one
place during the time of the reading, let him also come who was
perchance engaged in work enjoined on him. All, therefore, having
assembled in one place, let them say Complin, and after going out from
Complin, let there be no more permission from that time on for anyone
to say anything.
If, however, anyone is found to break this rule, let him undergo heavy
punishment, unless the needs of guests should arise, or the Abbot
should perhaps give a command to anyone. But let even this be done with
the utmost gravity and moderation.