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Typical Morning and Midday of the Monastic Day

The Mass over, and the hour of Sext, which follows it, finished; the monks go separately to their various duties, which normally would include administrative work, private study, teaching in the school, and lectures in theology and other branches of ecclesiastical learning. At about 12 or 1 o'clock the brethren assemble in the refectory for the chief meal of the day. During the meal one of the monks reads from the Sacred Scriptures and other pious books. Others perform the duties of servers at the tables; all except the superiors sharing in these labors by turns.

After dinner a brief visit is made to the Blessed Sacrament, the monks walking in procession to the church chanting the Miserere Psalm. Leaving the choir, all repair for a short space to the monastery common room. They remain there in conversation until the superior notifies that all are free to depart to their various occupations or forms of exercise and relaxation -- such necessary adjuncts of normal healthy life under the conditions of modern times. One to two hours being spent in this way, the work continues again till later in the afternoon or evening the great bell of the church summons all to None and Vespers, the latter being sung each day with the special solemnity suitable to the feast. At the end, the community passes to the chapter-room on certain days, when the abbot either gives a spiritual conference or acquaints the monks with matters of importance. Occasionally he points out faults that have been committed, or calls attention to any negligence of a public nature which he considers in need of correction.

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