Our monastery offers divine worship to the Holy and Undivided Trinity according to the Usus Antiquior (“Extraordinary Form”) of the Roman Rite recommended by Pope Benedict XVI and our classical Benedictine monastic forms of prayer. We chant all 150 of the Psalms of David in one week, according to the prescriptions of St Benedict in his Holy Rule. The Psalms are chanted in the context of the Seven Day Hours (Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline) and in the Night Office (Matins, or Vigils).
Life in a small monastery, still in its infancy, is full of unpredictable elements; we often have to adjust our schedule to reality. The UNDERLINED Offices below are those which are normally open to the public. Our temporary chapel may be found just beyond the main entrance of the house.
From the Address of Pope Benedict XVI to the Monks of Heiligenkreuz
"… Quite simply, [Saint] Benedict insisted that “nothing be put before the divine Office”. For this reason, in a monastery of Benedictine spirit, the praise of God, which the monks sing as a solemn choral prayer, always has priority. Monks are certainly not the only people who pray; others also pray: children, the young and the old, men and women, the married and the single — all Christians pray. Or at least, they should!
"In the life of monks, however, prayer takes on a particular importance: it is the heart of their calling. Their vocation is to be men of prayer. In the patristic period the monastic life was likened to the life of the angels. It was considered the essential mark of the angels that they are worshippers. Their very life is worship. This should hold true also for monks. Monks pray first and foremost not for any specific intention, but simply because God is worthy of being praised. Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus! — Praise the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy is eternal!': so we are urged by a number of Psalms (e.g. Ps 106:1). Such prayer for its own sake, intended as pure divine service, is rightly called officium. It is “service” par excellence, the “sacred service” of monks. It is offered to the triune God who, above all else, is worthy “to receive glory, honour and power” (Rev. 4:11), because he wondrously created the world and even more wondrously redeemed it.
"At the same time, the officium of consecrated persons is also a sacred service to men and women, a testimony offered to them. All people have deep within their hearts, whether they know it or not, a yearning for definitive fulfilment, for supreme happiness, and thus, ultimately, for God. A monastery, in which the community gathers several times a day for the praise of God, testifies to the fact that this primordial human longing does not go unfulfilled: God the Creator has not placed us in a fearful darkness where, groping our way in despair, we seek some ultimate meaning (cf. Acts 17:27); God has not abandoned us in a desert void, bereft of meaning, where in the end only death awaits us. No! God has shone forth in our darkness with his light, with his Son Jesus Christ. In him, God has entered our world in all his 'fullness' (cf. Col 1:19); in him all truth, the truth for which we yearn, has its source and summit …
"The core of monasticism is worship – living like the angels. But since monks are people of flesh and blood on this earth, Saint Benedict and Saint Bernard added to the central command: “pray”, a second command: “work”. In the mind of Saint Benedict, part of monastic life, along with prayer, is work: the cultivation of the land in accordance with the Creator’s will. Thus in every age monks, setting out from their gaze upon God, have made the earth live-giving and lovely. Their protection and renewal of creation derived precisely from their looking to God. In the rhythm of the ora et labora, the community of consecrated persons bears witness to the God who, in Christ, looks upon us, while human beings and the world, as God looks upon them, become good."