Worship and Prayer
The worship life of monks in the Benedictine tradition is known as Opus Dei, or the Work of God. Each piece of our worship schedule is known as an Office. In other words, Monks are all office workers.
Prayer is our primary work
The monastic ideal is that the day begins in prayer and ends in prayer, and that all major parts of the day are marked by prayer. We pray Vigils as the sun rises on each new day and pray Compline as we are about to retire for the day. The Office of Lauds (morning) at St Benedict’s Priory is combined with our daily observance of Eucharist (Holy Communion). The Benedictine tradition has “little hours” through the day called Terce, Sext, and None (the hours of three, six, and nine – but these are sundial, not clock, hours). We combine these little hours into the office of Diurnum, meaning “mid-day”. As the main part of the day draws to a close, we keep the office of Vespers (evening).
No unresolved issues
Taken together, these offices frame the day. Vigils opens with a plea that God will be on our lips through the day. The subsequent offices open with a plea that God will support and strengthen us. Compline begins with a time of confession so that we can reflect on the day and not carry with us regrets and burdens. Benedict, in his rule, does not want the community to go to bed with unresolved issues.
The Monastic Community of St Benedict’s Priory gathers five times each day for worship — called the Daily Office. On Monday there are no corporate offices.
- 6:00 Vigils (Wed–Sun)
- 8:00 Lauds & Eucharist (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat)
- 9:00 Eucharist (Sun)
- 10:00 Eucharist in the large Chapel with the wider Volmoed community (Thu)
- 12:00 Diurnum (Tue–Sat)
- 17:00 Vespers (Tue–Sun)
- 19:00 Compline (Tue–Sat)
The Monastic Community prays this cycle day in and day out not just for ourselves but also on behalf of those who, for various reasons, are not able to keep such a schedule. You are welcome to join us at offices when the Covid-19 lock down is over, but if you are not able to get to Volmoed, please join us in the mystical communion of the faithful from wherever you are.