"Seven times a day, I will sing your praises" (Ps 118/ 119)
In order to pray at all times, the first monks used to recite psalms or Scripture passages while doing their work.
Later on, the custom spread of meeting seven times a day for prayer.
These times of prayer in common combine with times of silent meditation.
Before dawn, the office of Vigils symbolizes our waiting for Christ, the Bridegroom who is to come in the night, in our human darkness.
Lauds, or morning prayer, means “praise” and refers to the resurrection of Christ symbolized by the rising sun.
Three short times of prayer start or interrupt the day’s work :
Terce (around 9a.m) is related to the coming of the Spirit on the Apostles.
Sext in the middle of the day, reminds us of the Crucifixion of Jesus, while
None commemorates his death.
By evening, the community meets for Vespers, a longer time of prayer to praise God and intercede for the whole world.
Compline is the last hour of the day ended by the Salve Regina, one of the most beautiful hymn to Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.