Peoples, Nations, Events

A day in the life of a nun

A day in the life of a nun

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Nuns, like monks, lived a very structured day in Medieval England. A day in the life of a nun was built around services in the chapel as by entering a convent/nunnery, a nun had taken the decision to dedicate and devote their life to God. Religion dominated the life of a nun.

Each convent would have had its own particular daily timetable for a nun but many would have been similar to the following:

02.00: Matins Laud, the first of the day's services.

After Matins Laud, a nun would go back to bed and would get up again at first light. She would then wash and have a breakfast of bread and beer. Because of the boiling process involved in the making of beer, it was far less dangerous to drink beer than water.

07.00: Prime, the second service of the day.

After Prime, nuns would meet in the chapter house where chapters from the Bible or the writings of saints would be read out.

09.00: Tierce, the third service of the day.

After this service, nuns would occupy themselves with work within the convent. This would be similar to what monks did in that nuns would work in the fields, the kitchen, the washroom or workshops.

12.00: Sext None, the fourth service of the day.

After this service, the nuns would have their dinner. They would eat in silence while a nun read from a book. After dinner, the nuns would return to their work.

17.00: Vespers, the fifth service of the day.

After Vespers, the nuns would have a light supper.

19.00: Compline, the last service of the day.

Following this, nuns would go straight to bed.

While the above is only a structure, many convents would have had a routine similar to this. The head of a convent was an abbess or mother superior. Nuns dedicated their life to God; therefore, no nun was allowed to get married.


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