Matins - The Night Office

Many monasteries "begin" their day in the middle of the night with prayer, waking up at midnight to pray before going back to sleep for a few hours. Most of the prayers being said throughout the day are taken from the book of Psalms.

Lauds - Morning Prayer

Typically at dawn (often at 6:00 a.m.) monks will wake up and officially begin their day with prayer in common.

Prime - Early Morning Prayer

After a few hours, and maybe Mass or breakfast, the monks will return to the chapel and pray another set of prayers.

Terce - Mid-Morning Prayer

The monks will work for a few hours in the morning, often doing whatever basic chores need to be done, and then return to the chapel for prayer around 9:00.

Midday Prayer

The monks will work for several hours, beginning their daily duties, but return to the chapel for prayer before having a small lunch in common.

Work & Mid-Afternoon Prayer

After lunch the bulk of a monk's work is done, which could be any number of things. Often monasteries will have a specific way that they support their life, such as brewing and selling beer. There may also be a time of prayer during mid-afternoon (around 3:00).

Vespers - Evening Prayer

After all the work has been done for the day, the monks will return to the chapel for a time of prayer around 6:00 p.m.


Depending on the day, a monk will often have time for recreation after dinner, which could be spent in common or alone. They might go sledding down a hill, play a round of Monopoly, or simply share stories and laugh.

Compline - Night Prayer

Around 8:00 p.m. the monks will prepare for bed and return to the chapel one last time before lights out. Sleep is most appreciated in the monastery and helps refuel the monks for another day.