Sunday, 16 October 2016

How The Night-Office Is Said In Summer.



The Monks would use The Night Stairs,
descending from their "Dormer" (Sleeping Quarters),
in order to say The Night Office (Matins and Lauds).
Photo by RoryHenry on Flickr.
Illustration: PINTEREST


The Nave,
Hexham Abbey,
Northumberland, England.
The Night-Office would have been
said by the Monks in this beautiful Abbey.
Photo: 3 February 2001.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tim Rogers.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Monastic Life at Holy Cross Abbey.
At Holy Cross Abbey, as in every Cistercian Monastery, the Monks rise long
before Dawn for 
The Night Office of Vigils (Matins), followed by a period of silent Prayer.
The hours before The Morning Office of Lauds and The Mass are given to Scripture
and other Spiritual Reading, personal Prayer, and meditation.
After the morning’s work and simple noon meal, the Meridian provides an hour for rest or
reading before Mid-Day Prayer and the afternoon’s work or study. The Monks’ day comes
to a close with The Evening Office of Vespers, a light supper, and a time of quiet before
The Community’s final Prayer together, The Office of Compline.
Then, as the Monks retire, the silence of the night begins, deepening that stillness they observe throughout the day, to provide for each other an environment in which to respond to The Living God in Prayer, in The Scriptures, and in the ordinary experiences of Community Life.
Available on YouTube at


Monastic Compline.
The last Office of The Day.
Followed by The Night Office of Matins and Lauds.
From Saint Michael's Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire, England.
Available on YouTube at

This Article is taken from, and can be read in full at, VULTUS CHRISTI

(From The Saint Benedict Rule).

CHAPTER X.

How The Night-Office is to be said in Summer Time.

12 Feb. 13 June. 13 Oct.

From Easter to the first of November, let the same number of Psalms be recited as prescribed above; only that no Lessons are to be read from the Book, on account of the shortness of the night: but, instead of those three Lessons, let one from The Old Testament be said by heart, followed by a short Responsory, and the rest as before laid down; so that never less than twelve Psalms, not counting the Third and Ninety-Fourth [Psalms], be said at The Night-Office.

Saint Benedict divides the year into two Seasons: Summer and Winter. Saint Benedict’s Summer begins with Holy Pascha and ends on 1 November. After Holy Pascha, the Warm Season begins in Rome; it is, effectively, the beginning of Summer. Winter begins on 1 November with the first bright, crisp, days that lead up to Martinmas.


The "Te Deum".
Solemn 5th-Century Gregorian Chant.
Monks of the one of the Abbeys of The Solesmes Congregation sing this beautiful Chant.
The Te Deum is attributed to two Fathers and Doctors of The Church, Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine and is one the most majestic Chants in The Liturgy of The Church. It is sung in Traditional Seminaries and Monastic Houses at The Divine Office (normally after The Office of Terce) and for Double Feasts of The First Class, The Nativity, Easter, Corpus Christi, Epiphany, Pentecost and those which have an Octave. The Solemn Te Deum is sung on all occasions of public Church rejoicing (in Traditional Catholic Churches).
Available on YouTube at


The Night-Office of Matins (Vigils).
Carthusian Chant.
Available on YouTube at

The following Text is from VISIT HEXHAM

The Abbey stands above a River Crossing and dominates the surrounding area. It lay at the heart of The Royal Grant of Land by Queen Etheldreda to Saint Wilfrid.

The Augustinian Canons developed a separate Religious Community in the 11th-Century.

The Canons’ day was punctuated by the Celebration of seven Church Services, starting soon after Midnight. For this service (Matins), they would go straight from the Dormitory (Dormer) and down The Night Stairs, directly into the Church.

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