The benedictine vocation

The life of prayer in a monastery is first and foremost anchored in prayer in communion with the whole Church. This liturgical prayer attains its summit in the celebration of the mass, the true core of the monastic day. From this core radiate the traditional “hours” of the Office, according to the daily schedule of the monk.

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The monastic day

A monastic day alternates prayer and work – ora et labora -, times on your own and as an active member of a community, in balanced harmony as described in Saint Benedict’s rule.
It is this “happy medium” which has made the success of the order and enabled it to live on for about 1500 years.
Here is an example of a typical day at Saint- Wandrille. There might be slight changes depending on the day (please check the timetable for more information).

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The Gregorian chant

In the 8th century, in Metz, the Frankish kings imported the Roman liturgy into their churches and monasteries. Thus was born the Gregorian repertoire, the Frankish cantors, whilst using the same texts, would transform the melodies to give them a new force, flexibility, a new energy and at the same time a greater interiority from meditating on the words as they are sung and a deep sense of adoration. This would make Gregorian chant so successful in abbeys, where it was learnt by heart, developed and transmitted further...

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The Rule of Benedict

Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20). Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience. To you, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever you may be, who are renouncing your own will to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King, and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.

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