The main work and purpose of the life of the Poor Clares, as for all contemplative nuns, is prayer. St Clare didn’t specify times of prayer but saw the whole life as centered on the worship and praise of God. This didn’t mean that the life was just prayer with no work. but that as she says in the rule, the work does not ‘extinguish the Spirit of Holy prayer and devotion to which all other things in our earthly existence must contribute.’
Today the times of prayer are set out so that the day begins and ends with prayer while the working hours are interspersed with further periods of communal prayer. Each sister is also expected to spend at least one and a half hours in private prayer. As well as this, time is given for spiritual reading.
|Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Morning Prayer, followed by time for meditation.
Short period of communal prayer (Terce)
Office of Readings with Midday prayer, followed by time for reading or meditation until 12.15
Short period of communal prayer (None)
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Sacrament is deposed
From 9pm we keep the great silence until after Terce the next morning.
On the nights of Wednesday and Saturday we rise at midnight for an hour of prayer and meditation during which we say the Office of Readings instead of saying it during the day.
On Thursday and Friday Exposition is from 5.30pm to 6.30pm with Evening Prayer at 6.30pm
The first Friday of the month is kept as a community retreat day when there is an extra hour of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 10.30 to 11.30am
People are always welcome to join us for mass and the Divine Office.
| 8.00 am
Holy Days of Obligation
On weekdays the mass is in our chapel and on Sundays and holy days of obligation it is in the church.
In our chapel we have a copy of the San Damiano Crucifix before
which St Francis prayed when he heard the words
‘Go and repair my church’. Later for many years in that same church, St Clare prayed with her sisters before this crucifix the original of which still hangs in the convent of Poor Clares in Assisi.
San Damiano Crucifix
enlighten the darkness
of my heart.
and give me, Lord,
a correct faith.
a certain hope,
a perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
so that I may carry out
your holy and true command.
St Francis' prayer before this crucifix.