The name derives from the habit of convening monks
for the reading of a chapter
of the Bible
or a heading
of the order
The 6th-century St Benedict directed
that his monks
begin their daily assemblies with such readings
and over time expressions such as "coming together for the chapter" (convenire ad capitulum
) found their meaning transferred from the text to the meeting itself and then to the body gathering for it.
The place of such meetings similarly became known as the "chapter house
" or "room".
In the event of an episcopal vacancy, cathedral chapters are sometimes charged with election of the bishop's replacement and with the government of the diocese. They are made up of canon priests
"Numbered" chapters are made up of a fixed number of prebendaries
, while "unnumbered" chapters vary in number according to the direction of the bishop. The chapters were originally led by the cathedral's archdeacon
but, since the 11th century,
have been directed by a dean
In the Catholic Church
, the chapter appoints its own treasurer, secretary, and sacristan
and—since the Council of Trent
and canon penitentiary
The same council approved of other local offices,
which might include precentors
, or custodes
. Canons are sometimes given the functions of punctator
In the Church of England
, the chapter includes lay
members, a chancellor
who oversees its educational functions, and a precentor
who oversees its musical services. Some Church of England cathedrals have "lesser" and "greater" chapters with separate functions.
A collegiate chapter
is a similar body of canons who oversee a collegiate church
other than a cathedral.
A general chapter
is a general assembly of monks, typically composed of representatives from all the monasteries
of an order
. The equivalent meetings of provincial representatives of Franciscan orders is called a Chapter of Mats
Chapter of faults
A chapter of faults
is a gathering for public correction of infractions against community rules and for self-criticism
separate from standard confession
Orders of knighthood
The assembled body of knights of a military or knightly order
was also referred as a "chapter”.
- ^ Sess. V, Cap. i.
- ^ Sess. XXIV, Cap. viii.
- ^ Sess. XXV, cap. vi.
- Baynes, T. S., ed. (1878). "Chapter" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 398.
- Cripps, H. W. (1937). A Practical Treatise on the Law Relating to the Church and Clergy (8th ed.). K. M. Macmorran. pp. 127–146.
Last edited on 13 January 2021, at 02:30
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