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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

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Subcantor (succentor)

The deputy precentor; a monastic official who helped the precentor to encourage singing and maintain attentiveness during the services – and ensured that nobody fell asleep. He also made sure that the books were in place. According to the twelfth- century customary of the Order the subcantor stood ‘in the left side of the choir,’ the precentor in the right, with the abbot. It is unclear whether it was assumed that the reader was facing the High Altar or the nave, but if the abbot and precentor stood where the dean now stands in a modern cathedral, i.e. to the right when facing the High Altar, it can be assumed that the subcantor stood on the opposite side, namely to the left, when facing the High Altar.