« For then are they truly monastics when they live by the labour of their hands,
as did our Fathers and the Apostles.»
Rule de Saint Benedict, chapter 48.
The monk's day is split in three main activities :
• They listen to God who addresses men in his living Word and respond to Him in the intimate dialogue of prayer
• They cultivate the land through work that honours all the dimensions of human life.
• They praise the Creator of all things for his infinite mercy by coming together regularly in the monastery church to celebrate his Love.
In details ...
5 am - The monk's day starts while it is still dark.
The first prayer service, Vigils, brings the community together in the church for a long office mostly made of psalms and readings from Scripture. It is the monk's duty to rise before sunrise to honour the one true Light : Christ.
The monks then spend a silent hour in personal prayer and spiritual reading. As an old monastic saying has it: « When you read, God speaks to you ; when you pray , you speak to God.»
7.30 am - The service of Lauds is the principal morning office.
The monk praises God with the whole Church for the daily gift of creation. He intercedes for the work of all mankind.
After breakfast and an interval for personal and domestic maintenance, the monks continue to listen to the Word of God in their own rooms. Their lectio divina (reading of the things that speak of God) is nurtured by the Bible, the Fathers of the Church, spiritual authors and theologians, and the lives of the Saints.
10 am - The sung, concelebrated Mass is the high point of the day.
It is introduced by the Psalms of Terce and culminates in the Eucharistic sacrifice and communion, offered for the intentions of the Church and the world. After Mass, the monks attend to their different jobs for the service of community.
12.45 am - The office of Sext precedes lunch
which is served at 1pm in the refectory.
The monks eat in silence while listening to a reading of cultural or spiritual interest.
The community then goes directly to the church for the office of None which is followed by a daily period of recreation, a time to relax and communicate freely.
The rest of the afternoon is then dedicated to carrying on with work. This is when most of the manual work is done to maintain the grounds, cultivate the land, the garden, the orchards and the woods.
6 pm - At the end of the afternoon, after work, the monks again gather in church for the great evening service : Vespers
They thank God and ask Him for His forgiveness for the day past.
On Sundays and solemn feasts, when there is no work, Vespers take place at 4.30 pm and is followed by Benediction.
7 pm -
Several times a week, the whole community gather in chapter (the community assembly room) to listen to the abbot's spiritual teaching.
8.30 pm -
After the evening meal (at 7.30 pm), the monks sing Compline, the last office before the night. It ends with a hymn to the Virgin Mary, after which the Abbot blesses the community with holy water and the Angelus is rung.
"If it can be done, the monastery should be so established that all the necessary things,
such as water, mill, garden and various workshops, may be within the enclosure."
Rule de Saint Benedict, ch. 66.
This cards are maded by a monk (brother armel). Available at shop of abbey.