Which Order Prays the Most?


That’s a fairly basic question though please feel free to discuss it.

By “prays” I don’t mean praying through action in the world although I may mean any of the following or other forms of prayer along these lines:

  • audible prayer
  • contemplative prayer
  • personal prayer
  • praying together in church
  • singing/chanting prayers

Are there any orders which pray all 8 of the traditional hours of the divine office? (I.e. matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline.) If so, which ones please?

Thank you for your replies :slight_smile:


Trappists (O.S.B.S.O.)



The Benedictine’s that I know certainly pray a LOT! Probably as much as you have suggested and more. I’ve been at retreat there several times, and they do get up in the middle of the night and assemble for prayer several times a day, as well as a 4 or 5:30 AM daily Mass. I don’t have any comparison though, other than the Poor Clares who live just down the road from them, and they pray the full day of prayers.


I’m guessing but for men I reckon the Trappists, Carthusians or some Franciscan Orders (they pray hard as they work hard).

All Orders LIVE an inner life of prayer as well as literal prayer spoken or sung.

For women, there are many convents that pray probably most of the time. Most contemplative convents would be hard to compare with. I expect Carmelite nuns are probably one of the most prayerful and some Franciscan convents.

Religious men - monks, friars - can be a blessing. Nuns are a blessing. One could be a Nunk.


I don’t know. Any of the contemplative orders. I know of none which adhere to the Roman breviary per se. Even within a single order it varies. Go to one Benedictine monastery and they’ll recite differently than another.

There are strictly contemplative Benedictine monasteries. Trappists and Cistercians are another solid bet. Camaldolese and Carthusians are the hermit branches of the Church. Among them, the Carthusians have a more liturgical character, whereas the Camaldolese are spending more time in private. Carmelite nuns, certainly are very prayer-oriented.

Why do you ask? We might be able to help you out better if we know.


Discalced Carmelites pray silently one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, in addition to the Liturgy of the Hours.


I would imagine Benedictine. They pray all of the Hours, and have a goodly amount of time set aside for private prayer.


So say they with St. Benedict Medals at the bottom of their posts! :smiley:





I might order one, come to think of it.


Benedictines pray 7 liturgically times a day as per psalm 118(119). As would any monastery following the Rule of St. Benedict, and the Carthusians follow more or less the same order though they don’t meet in choir for all the hours.

Prime has been suppressed but some Benedictines doing both the post- and pre-Vatican II Offices do pray it. The traditional Benedictine Divine Office exists in a post-Vatican II form where ad libitum one may pray Prime, or distribute its psalms according to a couple of formulae given in the psalter.

In addition monks practice lectio divina (prayerful reading of the scrpitures), have time for private prayer, pray before they start and end work, pray the Angelus 3x per day, gather for community prayer of the Rosary… in short they pretty much pray without ceasing.

When I say “Benedictines” we can extend that to say any order using the Rule of St. Benedict, including the two flavours of Cistercians.


Is the Angelus and Rosary said right across the board though, in all St. Ben. Orders, is this part of the Rule for all Orders or just the one you are attached to?


For a minute I thought this link was for Westminster Abbey in the U.K, I thought that it didn’t look like London. Might have gone there else. Be good if Westminster were Benedictine as some wise decisions might come from there.


Although the way that the liturgical hours are prayed have varied from monastery to monastery that I have been to as a vocational retreatant (not many, 2 OSB, 1 CSO, 1 Er.Cam) all of them across the board have observed the Angelus I believe.

Well now, I can’t quite remember if the Trappists did… but I think they did.


Have you ever seen Into The Silence? I bet they pray a lot!


Trappists are actually O.C.S.O. (Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae).

They branched off of the Cistercian order, not the Order of Saint Benedict.:thumbsup:

As to the OP, I would suggest looking into any of the monastic orders. They’re the ones that keep to the traditional hours, although you’re probably looking more for an order within the Cistercian branch.


But the Cistercians were born out of the Benedictines and follow the Rule of St. Benedict.


Certainly all of our congregation (Solesmes).

Most people might miss it though. They pray the Angelus silently after Vigils (5:50 AM), Sext (12:15 pm) and Compline (8 pm). When I first started “hanging out” with them I just thought they were standing silently in choir after each of those offices until after the bells rang. There are three rings at the first statement and Ave; three more rings at the second, three more rings at the third then a longer gap (to finish the prayer) then a final pealing of the bells as the monks leave their stalls. At Compline it is done in darkness. It is very beautiful. I thought they were just standing there respectfully until the signal to leave but then as I studied their ordo I realized they were praying the Angelus.

Side note, of course in Eastertide the Angelus is not said. The bells peal as they chant the solemn version of Regina Caeli on Sundays, then they leave immediately after.


Wonderful film!


Which Order Prays the Most?

I’d have to say it’s the Carthusians. They don’t have the work routine that other orders do, as their entire focus is really on prayer. Lay Carthusians assist with taking care of more mundane details - serving and preparing food, etc.

“Into Great Silence” is a rather amazing movie on Carthusian life. A great book by Nancy Maguire on Carthusian life is called, “An Infinity of Little Hours: Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World’s Most Austere Monastic Order”.

The Carthusians are the “prayer warriors” of the Church. They have charter houses in Europe, and I believe one on the East Coast in the U.S.

After the Carthusians, I would rank the Benedictines and the Cicstercians.

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