The Cistercian life was renowned
for its severity. The monks observed the ideals of poverty and simplicity,
wearing habits of undyed wool; they even refused to wear breeches
except when travelling.
The Cistercians followed a frugal diet. At first meat was forbidden
to all but the sick and weak, and luxury ingredients such as pepper
and cumin were discouraged.
Manual labour had been all but abandoned by the Benedictine monks
but the Cistercians were adamant that this should be made once more
an integral part of monastic life. A period was set aside each day
for work and at harvest time the monks joined the lay-brothers to
labour in the fields.In the following screens you can read more about
the monks’ clothing, their diet and the Cistercians’ attitude
You will soon be able to find out
more about death and burial in the Cistercian abbey and at a later
date there will be information
on health and sickness.