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A Monk's Life Rest | Church Service | Penance | Work | Meals | Community Work
Monks Eating
Monks sharing a meal

Times: 6.30-7am breakfast, 12-1pm lunch, 5.45-6pm dinner

As with many of a monk's daily activities, meals were a solitary and silent affair, not to mention infrequent. Some monasteries only allowed one meal a day during the wintertime and two in the summertime.

In most monasteries monks were not allowed to talk during mealtimes instead developing a sophisticated sign language to compensate.

Food consisted of what was grown within the monastery and what could be begged from nearby towns.

Their main foodstuffs included vegetables such as turnips or salad, dark breads, porridges, an occasional fish, cheese curds, beer, ale, or mead. Fish was smoked and meat dried to increase their longevity.

As a rule, monks did not eat meat except if they were ill and on special occasions.

As there was no clean water, beer and wine were the standard beverages and many monasteries housed a brewery or a vineyard. Indeed, monks are believed to have invented beer.

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