A Monk and his Monastery
A Monastery was a place of work, and a place of
prayer where Monks dedicated their lives in
service to God.
The following is a day in the life of a Monk.
Generally a Monk’s day began early. He would wake at
6am for morning prayer.
This would be conducted in the monastery church,
where the Abbot would lead the prayers. The service
would include, singing, Psalm readings and prayerful
Following this, the Monks would go to the dining
room and eat their breakfast.
Whilst their lives were centred on prayer, the
Monks were still required to do daily work.
Some Monks worked in the kitchen. Others in
the garden. Monks also helped the Almoner to
disperse alms to the needy.
Other jobs such as maintenance of the
monastery and manufactory of habits were
also done by individual Monks within the
Food and Drink
The food that the Monks ate was generally quite
basic. It mainly consisted of bread, made in
the monastery and meat from their farm
animals. They also ate vegetables from their
The Monks were very much self-sufficient.
Therefore, very little money was needed to
buy food. Monks made wine for Masses and
Monks stayed in large buildings called
dormitories. Within these buildings each
Monk had his own room, which was called a
‘cell’. It was very basic, containing only a bed
and a prayer kneller. Always there was a
crucifix upon the wall and Monks could pass
many hours here in solitude prayer.
As stated earlier the day of a Monk began in
prayer. Prayer played a very important role in
a Monk’s life. It was not solely confined to the
morning time, there were 6 different prayer
times during the day. These punctuated
activities, which were ceased immediately
when the prayer bell rang. On average, a
Monk spent 7 hours in prayer each day.
As you can see Monks lived very busy lives from
dawn to dusk. Throughout their busy days
they never lost sight of their core duties as a
Monk. Prayer permeated their lives and
everything that they did involved prayer and
service to God.
I think they were commendable people who
sacrificed a lot for their faith in God.