Round the clock
Very occasionally, at the Blessing of the Labour in the chapter room after Morning Prayer, dear Mother will conclude with the announcement, “Everything will be ‘as usual’, dear sisters!” This is greeted by cries of surprise and wonder. Life is for living, not for scheduling. Usually we take one day at a time, but sometimes several days seem to attack us at once!
So what is a ‘usual’ day?
One of the most distinctive features of our day is that we go to bed twice every night, which has the slightly distressing corollary that we get up twice too. Why, one wonders when morning appears with such impressive regularity does it always take one by surprise....? The extra getting-up exercise is to enable us to sing Matins, the Church’s Office of Readings, with the mecy chaplet and possibly Adoration, between 23.00 hours and 00.45, (except on Sundays and Solemnities, when, to make it easier for all to join in there is a Vigil Service which begins at 18.30).
We rise again, before the sun, for a day which will include, the Angelus, Adoration, Mass, Morning Prayer and the rest of the Liturgy of the Hours, cooking, washing clothes, hearing the news of the Church and the world, thanking God, answering the many letters for prayer we receive, washing dishes, making music, sharing things that interest others and letting them share things that interest you, working in the garden, learning something new every day, reading the Word of God, being glad to be alive and going to bed until Matins once more recurs. This is in fact a poem written in sweat, tears and laughter called: become what you are, it is learning to live in eternity whilst still growing in time. It is becoming forged into the Body of Christ, like bread that is kneaded; like bread that is baked and broken to feed the world.
Rising Bell the Sisters start the day in the Portiuncula Shrine of our Lady. 6.30
Come Spirit of God
Adoration of the Living Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament until 7.15 Morning Prayer (Lauds).
Holy Mass Followed by 15 minutes of thanksgiving,
Terce of the Office of the Passion with the recommendation of prayer intentions for the day. Chapter: the distribution of the day’s work. Light refection appropriate to perpetual Lenten fast proposed by St Clare. Common Work
12.00 or therabouts
Midday Prayer of Divine Office (Sext)
Lunch (silent, with reading),
None of the Office for the Dead
(in accord with the tradition of St Colette)
half an hour of recreational time.
Evening Prayer (Vespers) followed by
followed by Collation (A light refection taken in silence with somewhat lighter reading).
prayer and meditation until
Chapter of reconciliation
and, when required, announcement of important news, urgent prayer recommendations or community discussion
Compline of Divine Office,
The sisters should be in bed by 21.00 at latest.
They sleep in their habits, so as to be ready for the call of the Bridegroom.
Rising Bell for Matins,
Divine mercy Chaplet
Matins of Divine Office,
Prayer for the World
Praises of God of St Francis [prostrate], ending 00.20 approx.
Optional night meditation ending not later than
As it says at the bottom of the Music sheet for the Liturgy on a big feast: All subject to Divine intervention, human error and alteration without prior notice!
May the Lord be with you always and may you be with him always and in every place