Monastic Life

Monastic Life

The rhythm of the monastic day and the lives of the monks are governed by the services associated with specific hours (the Divine Office). There are ample sources of information online about this topic and how the Divine Office has evolved over the centuries.

In the Second Son Chronicles, the Divine Office from the Middle Ages serves as a backdrop for portions of the narrative that occur at a monastery. The first hour of the day was considered to be 6:00 a.m., and the hours and services are as follows:

Prime the first hour 6:00 a.m.
Terce the third hour 9:00 a.m.
Sext the sixth hour noon
Nones (in some sources, None) the ninth hour 3:00 p.m.
Vespers at the time for the lighting of the evening lamps around 6:00 p.m.
Compline a service held just before retiring for the night often around 7:00 p.m.
Matins held during the early morning hours (what we would call the “wee hours of the morning” typically around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.
Lauds the dawn service its precise time varied through the seasons as the hours of sunrise changed