Life in the monastery

"Keep the order and the order will keep you," one of the traditional sayings of Saint Norbert, the founder of the order. Life in the monastery has its rhythm, which helps to ensure that nothing essential is missing in the day.

The communal celebration of the liturgy is the axis of communal life. It is the praise of the living God, but also a source of inspiration and strength for life with the brethren.

Daily Schedule of the Strahov Community

Life in the monastic community follows a certain daily order, the axis of which is primarily the Daily Prayer of the Church, which is the official prayer of the church, especially entrusted to orders such as monks or canonic orders (to which the Premonstratensians belong).

6:30 The cornerstone of every day for a Premonstratensian religious is the choral celebration of God – that is, the communal prayer of the liturgy of the hours conducted in a ceremonial manner, through which they give praise to the Lord and by interceding for God's grace and blessings, sanctify themselves, their monastery, and the whole church, with which they join in one voice in this prayer. Therefore, it's no wonder the day begins in the choir, where the brothers gather in silence (strict silence is observed from the evening). Their first words of the day are words of prayer.
First, the brothers pray the Office of Readings (officium lectionis), in which they open their ears to God's word presented in a larger, more compact form, and also to the words of some church father or other spiritual author. This is followed by the main morning choral prayer: morning praises (Laudes matutinas).

7:15 There is an opportunity to participate in the morning parish mass, other brothers go for breakfast. Here ends the night silence.

8:30 At this hour, we pray another time of the Daily Prayer of the Church – mid-morning prayer (Tertia). After it, the brothers disperse each according to their duties and employment – either outside the monastery (for clerics studying at the faculty; for others teaching at school or other pastoral duties in the parish) or in the monastery (the novice master with novices meet during their program – teaching, discussion, work; others work in the monastery library or have other tasks related to the administration and running of the house).

12:00 At noon, the brothers meet in the conventual chapel for another part of the Daily Prayer of the Church – midday prayer (Sexta). A communal lunch follows. And because man does not live on bread alone, they return to the chapel after lunch for the afternoon part of the Daily Prayer of the Church – afternoon prayer (Nona).

13:30 During the afternoon, they continue in their work and duties.

16:30 To slowly calm down before the evening prayer, it is preceded by spiritual reading, which each does alone in their room.

17:00 Then the brothers gather together (similarly as in the morning) in the church choir for another part of the Daily Prayer of the Church – vespers (Vesperae). After them, they remain in the church, where follows a half-hour of personal silent meditation – meditation on the Word of God or communal prayer of the rosary, and then the communal celebration of the Holy Mass. After it, the brothers pray with the people another part of the Daily Prayer of the Church – bedtime prayer (Completorium).

19:00 Moving to the refectory for dinner, before which a passage from the Rule of St. Augustine is read. This is followed by personal free time.

22:00 Until the beginning of the night silence, which culminates their day's activities and which is also preparation for the following day.

One of the largest gatherings of the order members is called the Chapter. It occurs twice a year, and all community members come together for the communal celebration of the liturgy and to discuss important matters.

The purpose of life in a monastic community is the praise of God and work, which is done with the intention of sanctifying the world. As baptized individuals, we have been called to cooperate with God as His children in the work of sanctifying this world and contributing to its salvation. However, we do not carry out this mission as individuals, but rather in the manner of God's own life, within a community that forms our family.