A typical day in Carmel

A typical day in Carmel

The day starts with the sound of the traditional “clapper”: a call to praise God dating from the time of St. Teresa herself.

5:00am The Hour of Lauds.

5:20am An hour of silent prayer before the most Blessed Sacrament.

6:40am The Hour of Prime, including the Martyrology.

7:00am Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Afterwards, a short Thanksgiving in choir, the Hour of Terce and a simple breakfast.

9:00am Various household tasks, as required: sewing, cooking, answering letters, embroidering a vestment, making scapulars, gardening, cleaning a hallway, tending the livestock, painting a statue. Each Sister works in solitude, in a spirit of prayer and recollection. Most important is that each work is done under obedience with a willing and joyful heart.

10:40am The Hour of Sext and an examination of conscience. After this the community processes to the Refectory with the recitation of the “De Profundis”.

11:00am The monastic meal takes place in silence while from the pulpit a Sister reads from Holy Scripture or some other spiritual book. The dishes are washed by hand as the Sisters recite prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

12:00pm The Sisters gather together in the recreation room as a family. They work while they converse. There is usually some darning to do or perhaps apples to be peeled. It is a time of much joy and laughter. On Sundays and Feasts days, the Sisters might take a walk together on the monastery grounds or bring out the musical instruments.

2:15pm The Hour of None and the Holy Rosary. This is followed by spiritual reading in the cell.

3:00pm The Novice Mistress instructs the novices in Carmelite spirituality. She emphasizes the importance of the virtues, especially obedience, and directs them towards union with their Divine Spouse.

3:30pm Continuation of the morning duties. All that matters for the Carmelite is to please Our Good Lord and to serve her sisters.

4:30pm The Hour of Vespers, followed by another hour of quiet prayer.

6:00pm A light evening meal, followed by another hour of Recreation.

8:00pm Compline completes the liturgical day. Grand Silence then begins, lasting until Lauds the following day.

9:15pm The Hour of Matins.

10:30pm The Sisters retire.