DAY OF A BENEDICT MONK
The day would be arranged in accordance with church services, and assigned functions.
Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the brothers should have specific periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful readings.
So wrote Benedict in Chapter 48 of his Rule.
Church services structured the day. The services were called divine offices and lasted from 40 to 45 minutes. During the day entrance would be via the Cloister. During the night, by the staircase fromthe dormitory.
Unlike a schedule of today, there were seven daytime divine officers a day. The first at day break, the next at around 6 am, then at 9 am, noon, 3 pm and 5 pm and 6 pm. There was also a nigh service at 2 am.
These times were adjusted somewhat for seaons.
Typicall it seems that monks went to bed at 6:30 in the evening and becan their day at 2 am.
The Benedictine Rules also dictate the meals for monks. Lots of vegetables, wine and break, but never the meat of four-footed animals (Rule 39:11).
So the day seemed to be made up of prayers, work, reading (two hours a day) and fasting between the meals.
Summer life, which started at Easter, was a better time for the monks as they would have two meals a day. There were two meals but they would get up at 3 am (rather than the restful 6 am of winter). With the shorter night, because of the earlier time to rise, the evening service would not take place. Although, at specfic times of the year there would be periods of fasting with only a single meal per day.
In addition to what seems to our standards today of restrictive meals, so was speach.
Rules 5, 6 and 7 all deal with obedience, silence and humility. Monks could speak in the Chapter House (council) to given an pinion, to admit to his faults or to rebuke another month. Other than that, it was a life of relative silence.
As Rule 4 indicated:
... prefer moderation in speech and speak no foolish chatter; nothing just to provoke laughter; do not love immoderate or boisterous laughter.