The day begins at 5.20 a.m. when we rise. At 6.00 a.m. the bell calls us to silent prayer, an hour of attentive communion with God. Morning Prayer of the Church, the day’s first act of liturgical worship, follows immediately, and we raise our voices together in praise of our Creator. This common prayer of the Church, drawn mainly from the psalms of the Bible, sanctifies the different parts of the day as it unfolds.
After a short period of work, we gather once more to take part in the most important act of the day, the celebration of the Eucharist at 8.15 a.m. After breakfast we work until 11 a.m., usually in one of the altarbread departments, the sewing rooms, the infirmary, garden or in the domestic duties of any household.
Before dinner at midday there is an hour of spiritual reading, so that our hearts and minds are nourished on the Word of God and other writings before we partake of physical nourishment in the common refectory. Gathered together for our meal as a family we listen to further good reading while we eat.
A period of recreation is enjoyed after dinner, when we chat and relax in each other company. At 1.40 p.m. silence descends once more on the house as the bell summons us back to work until 4.30 p.m. with just a short break in the middle of the afternoon for prayer, followed by a welcome cup of tea!
Fifteen minutes of spiritual reading prepares us for another hour of silent prayer, followed by the singing of Vespers or Evening Prayer, with its mood of thanksgiving. We have supper and recreation together, concluding with Compline, the night prayer of the whole Church, after which total silence pervades the monastery until morning.
There follows a time of solitude when each sister, alone in her cell, will pray, read or write, or take up any personal pursuit until 9.00 p.m. when we say the Office of Readings. This longer section of the liturgy has the nature of a vigil, anticipating the celebration of the coming day. It includes, as the name suggests, readings from scripture or other writings connected with the current feast or season. The day closes on this reflective note and we are free to retire for the night.