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 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, www.gratefulness.org, has developed this e-retreat on "Living the Hours." Spirituality & Practice is pleased to present this teaching to the online community.
This e-retreat explores two questions: 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.
When this 18-part retreat was first presented, emails were sent on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for six weeks. (Although for this on-demand version, you can choose your own frequency, we recommend you stick with the M-W-F schedule). The Monday emails introduce the traditional meaning of the Hours, starting with the key pivot points of dawn, noon, and dark. The Wednesday emails give us a chance to expand our consideration and, as the retreat progresses, to introduce more 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. The Friday emails will point to some resources for that project. Questions raised in the online Practice Circle when the retreat first ran are also addressed in the Friday emails.
(6 CEHs for Chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)