The Liturgy of the Hours
As a community, our primary and most important work is the Opus Dei (The Work of God), more commonly known as the Liturgy of the Hours or The Divine Office.
St Benedict tells us that “nothing (should) be preferred to the Work of God” (RB 43:3) and that an “eagerness for the work of God” is one of the marks of someone called to monastic life (RB 58:7).
As the name suggests, The Liturgy of the Hours consists of liturgies celebrated at various times or hours of the day. They are arranged according to the position of the sun. When the bell tolls for each Hour, we are called to stop whatever we are doing and “go with utmost speed, yet with gravity” to the Work of God (RB 43:2). This continual call to mindfulness and prayer, sanctifies time, nourishes our vocation and assists us in dedicating our day, our work and our lives to God.
In the Psalms, we hear the words, “seven times a day I praise you” (Ps 118). As contemplative Benedictine nuns, here at Jamberoo Abbey, we are privileged to continue this ancient tradition. We pray the full Liturgy of the Hours – Vigils, Lauds, Terce, Middle Hour, None, Vespers and Compline. The Hours are composed of hymns, psalms, canticles, scripture readings, petitions and prayers.
As we lift up our hearts to the Father, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit we also bring with us the joys and hopes, the pain and sorrows of all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. We join our voices to those of all peoples, so that “from the rising of the sun to its setting” (Ps.113:3) God may be glorified without end.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the public prayer of the whole Church not just monastic men and women, priests or religious. All of God’s people are encouraged to pray the Hours in whatever way can be managed in busy lives.
Guests and visitors to the Abbey are always welcome to join us in praying the Liturgy of the Hours.
A fuller description of each of the Hours can be found here