Religious Orders and Christian Communities

“Guide and sanctify, we pray, those whom You call to follow You under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 819)

What is a regular worship routine for a monk or nun (i.e. a ‘religious’)?

While most lay people go to a church only once a week, Religious gather together four to seven times a day to worship and pray.  The cycles of prayer that they follow have been practiced for centuries, are central to the Religious life, and are a gift to the life of the Church and all its members.   

Below are some sample worship schedules.  Note that different communities use ancient and modern names for the different “hours” of “offices” of the day.  

Holy Cross Monastery, West Park NY


6:00 a.m.  Matins
8:15 a.m.  Great Silence ends
Eucharist (Wednesday – Saturday)
9:00 a.m.  Eucharist (Sunday)
12:00 pm.  Diurnum
5:00 p.m.  Vespers
7:40 p.m.  Compline
9:00 p.m.  Great Silence begins

Community of St. John Baptist, Mendham NJ


7:30 a.m.  Lauds (Morning Prayer Rite II)
(7:00 on Sundays & Festivals)
8:00 a.m.  Eucharist
(7:30 on Sundays & Festivals)
9:30 a.m.  Terce
11:55 a.m.  Noonday Office
4:55 p.m  Vespers
8:30 p.m  Compline

Order of Saint Helena, North Augusta SC

7:30 am Matins
8:00 am Holy Eucharist
12:00 noon Diurum (12:30 pm on Sunday)
5:00 pm Vespers
7:00 pm Compline

Religious Orders and Christian Communities