In the Christian monastic tradition, every day follows a rhythm of eight "Hours," which mark nuances of morning, noon, night, and between times. "Lauds" is the coming of the light, an opportunity to nourish your soul for the coming day. "Prime" — when you get to your workplace — allows you to make a deliberate beginning. "Terce" is a joyful mid-morning prayer break. "Sext" is a lunch-time meditation that renews commitment and fervor. "None" comes as shadows lengthen and you need a boost for the last hours of your work day. "Vespers" is an evening celebration, and "Compline" completes the cycle right before bed. Connecting the circle of Hours is "Vigils," the night watch.

Patricia Campbell Carlson, drawing on the resources of A Network for Grateful Living (ANG*L), founded by Br. David Steindl-Rast and best known for its interactive website,, developed this e-retreat on "Living the Hours." Spirituality & Practice presented it in the fall of 2009 and again in the spring of 2012. We are now pleased to have this popular program available on-demand.

Two key questions are explored: How can these Hours enhance our lives outside of a monastic setting? And how can they be made universal, so that people of any spiritual tradition or no tradition can experience their extraordinary value? Our explorations are based on the premise that practicing the Hours, although rooted in an ancient tradition, can work wonders for restoring our peace of mind and enjoyment of life in a fast-paced world.

"Living the Hours" includes 18 emails organized into six "weeks." The first emails of each week introduces the traditional meaning of the Hours, starting with the key pivot points of dawn, noon, and dark. The second emails give us a chance to expand our consideration and, as the retreat progresses, to introduce more Hours. The third emails each week present special readings to enhance your understanding of the Hours.

Throughout the retreat, we'll also encourage you to collect materials for each Hour that are meaningful to you, with the idea of creating your own Book of Hours that you can use for prayer.

We invite you to explore how you can refresh your spirits every day by living the hours. (6 CEHs for Chaplains available.)

Available On-Demand
(choose your own start date and frequency)


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