The horarium is the monks’ daily routine. Horarium is Latin for “the hours”.
Below you can find the daily schedule that Pauline Fathers and Brothers follow at the Monastery in Doylestown, PA. Of course, this schedule slightly varies in different Pauline monasteries all over the world, and especially differs in the formation houses (novitiate and seminary). However, for the most part, our Schedule and our way of life is similar everywhere we are.
6:00 am RISING - learn more
Every morning, precisely at six o’clock, the monastic bell starts another day of our life, calling us to the chapel for prayer. Each day is a gift from God and an opportunity to approach Him with a humble prayer and trying to fulfill the obligations of our vocation. Such hope is expressed in the words of the prayer that opens each of our days: “Eternal Father, in the union with the intentions of your Son Jesus Christ, revived by the power of the Holy Spirit, we invoke the intercession of the Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, St. Paul, the Patron of our Order, and all the Saints. We offer you all our thoughts, words and actions of this day for your greater glory, for our sanctification and for the salvation of the world” (Prayer Book of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit).
6:30 AM MORNING PRAYERS IN THE MONASTERY CHAPEL - learn more
“Lord open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise” (Psalm 51) The morning prayers consist of three elements: Introductory Prayers, Meditation of the Word of God, and Morning Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours).
INTRODUCTORY PRAYERS - learn more
During the introductory prayers, we invoke the intercession of Our Lady, St. Paul the First Hermit, and we dedicate ourselves and our actions to God. We also ask the Holy Spirit for light and help in discerning the Word of God and His inspiration in our actions.
MEDITATION OF THE WORD OF GOD - learn more
Each morning we meditate on God’s Word for a half an hour. God’s Word is an important part of our life because it shows us the right way and helps us to discern God’s will. This Word is also a our “daily food” that we share with others by proclaiming it during the Eucharist, retreats or other pastoral assignments.
MORNING PRAYER (LITURGY OF THE HOURS) - learn more
Morning prayer is a part of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours). The Breviary is a prayer of the People of God who, united in a common voice, present to God their prayers.
CONVENTUAL MASS - learn more
The central moment of our morning prayers is the Eucharist celebrated by the community of our Fathers for the intentions assigned to them. Daily Mass is a sign of a special fraternal closeness and unity of the whole community with our Lord Jesus Christ.
LITANY TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY IN LATIN (ON SATURDAY) - learn more
Saturday is a special day for us. On this day we celebrate the memorial of the Mother of God, a Protector and Patroness of our Order. On this day, the Divine Office is dedicated to Mary, and instead of morning meditation, we sing an extensive, monastic version of the Litany of Loreto, which we call „the kneeling prayers”, because we sing it while kneeling in front of Her image.
8:00 am BREAKFAST - learn more
Breakfast is another element of community life that unites us, allowing us to talk about the different things, drink coffee together and have something to eat, to gain strength for the work that is ahead of us.
9:00 am WORK ACCORDING TO INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENTS - learn more
Father Prior assigns individual work and duties to each Pauline monk. Fathers deal mainly with pastoral work, administering the Sacraments (especially Confession), Brothers have often physical duties working in the sacristy, cleaning the monastery or maintenance projects.
12:30 pm LUNCH - learn more
“The entire Community takes its meals in a common dining room. Gathering around a common table is a very significant sign of Community Life” (Constitutions of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit, Norm 50). Lunch begins with prayer and a reading of a passage from the Bible. During the days of recollection, retreats, and fasting days, meals are held in complete silence or with spiritual reading.
1:00 pm MIDDAY PRAYERS IN THE MONASTERY CHAPEL (OFFICE OF READINGS & MIDDAY PRAYER) - learn more
After lunch, we process to our monastery chapel for thanksgiving and prayer. While in the chapel we pray the Liturgy of the Hours: Office of Readings and Midday Prayer.
1:30 pm RECREATION - learn more
Recreation is a time of rest during which the monk can forget about his duties for a while. This is the moment when you can cultivate your hobbies, go for a walk, or visit friends.
2:00 pm WORK ACCORDING TO INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENTS & TIME FOR PERSONAL PRAYER - learn more
The word Order, from Latin Ordo, means order, not only in terms of an orderly prayer life, but also in terms of the work that we do. Work is just as important as prayer and worship. St. Paul, the Apostle said: “Therefore whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). The time of afternoon work allows one to finish previously started work or perform other duties assigned by the superior. It is also an opportunity, if the circumstances permit, for personal prayer and study, during which a religious continues to grow in spiritual and intellectual formation. During afternoon a Pauline monk should also find time for a second meditation on God’s Word, as the Constitutions of our Order continue to encourage us to do so: “A second period of meditation has been carefully preserved in our tradition as a sign of our predilection for the Pauline life ‘Solus Cum Deo Solo’” (Constitutions of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit, Article 28).
5:45 pm PRAYERS IN THE MONASTERY CHAPEL - learn more
At 5:45 pm, evening prayers begin in our monastery chapel, which consist of Invocations to St. Paul the First Hermit, Vespers (Evening Prayer), and Compline (Night Prayer)
INVOCATIONS TO SAINT PAUL THE FIRST HERMIT - learn more
Invocations to St. Paul the First Hermit, in the form of a litany, summarizing the life of our Patriarch and invoking his intercession: “Saint Paul, persevering in prayer and penance, pray for us” (Prayer Book of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit).
EVENING PRAYER (LITURGY OF THE HOURS) - learn more
Vespers, are the Church’s evening prayer as a part of the Liturgy of the Hours.
6:00 pm SUPPER - learn more
Dinner at our monastery takes place between Vespers and Compline, breaking the evening cycle of prayers. During this time, once again we gather in the refectory to eat after fulfilling the day’s responsibilities. The prayer before the meal is followed by the reading of the lives of the saints for a specific day contained in the Roman Martyrology.
6:30 pm NIGHT PRAYER (LITURGY OF THE HOURS) - learn more
Compline (Night Prayer), preceded by an examination of conscience, ends the breviary cycle of each day. Before reciting this last prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, we pray for our deceased brothers and benefactors whose anniversary of death falls on the next day.
7:00 pm PASTORAL ASSIGNMENTS - learn more
Our pastoral work does not end with dinner. Many people can come to our Shrine only in the evenings, after finishing their work. They come to pray attending various groups, meetings, choir practices and most of all to attend the Holy Eucharist. Hence, some Fathers and Brothers, after evening prayers, go to fulfill different pastoral responsibilities, ministering to different groups and communities helping them to continue their spiritual development.
RECREATION - learn more
The second moment of rest after work is the evening recreation, in which we can watch television or a movie, read a good book or develop our interests further. This is a moment that no brother should miss. This time builds unity and develops the spirit of brotherhood in the community.
TIME FOR PERSONAL PRAYER AND STUDY - learn more
Before we go to bed, we try to go to the monastery chapel and spend some time with God in prayer or adoration. This is a time when there is no more physical work so that we can focus on talking to God, slowly entering into the silentium sacrum that should be respected in every monastery after 9 pm.
Night Rest - learn more
At around 10 pm each monk should go to bed for the night rest. “Before we retire, following our custom we are to pray in our private room, on our knees with hands raised in a form of the cross 3 times, “Hail Mary” repeating each time an invocation to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and then to honor St. Paul we pray an additional prayer” (Prayer Book of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit).