the Carmel

The timetable at Carmel

Life in Carmel is very regular every day of the year with a very full and fragmented schedule, which makes it easier to keep the presence of the Lord throughout the day. We do not work on Sundays and holidays.

In Thérèse's time, there were few hours of sleep (6 hours of sleep with a siesta). Prayer times are always with the community in choir. The work is done as much as possible in the cell, in solitude and silence (except for the “lay sisters” in charge of heavy work and the kitchen).

Very big holidays give rise to “licences”, days when silence is lifted.


Schedule for a day at Carmel based on Celine's notes

Summer /Easter to September 14
Get up: 4:45 a.m.
Prayer: 5 to 6 hours
Hours: 6 to 7 a.m.
Mass from 7 to 8 a.m. Sundays and holidays: Mass at 8 a.m., one free hour between hours and mass.
Work: 8 to 10 a.m.
Lunch: 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.,
preceded by the exam at 09:45
Recreation: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Quiet: 12 p.m. to 13 p.m.
Work: 13 to 14 a.m.
Vespers: 14 to 14:30 p.m.
Reading: 14:30 p.m. to 15 p.m.
Work: 15 to 17 a.m.
Prayer: 17 to 18 p.m.
Dinner: 18 p.m. to 18:45 p.m.
Recreation: 18:45 p.m. to 19:40 p.m.
Compline: 19:40 p.m. to 20 p.m.
Quiet: 20 p.m. to 21 p.m.
Matins and Lauds: approximately 21 p.m. to 22 p.m.
exam follow-up
22:15 p.m.: Go to bed around 23 p.m. or a little earlier, except on feast days, when there are parts of the office that are sung.
Winter / from September 14 to Easter 
Get up: 5:45 a.m.
Prayer: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Hours: 7 to 8 a.m.
Mass: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Work: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.
preceded by the examination
Recreation: 12 to 13 p.m.
Work: 13 a.m. to 14 a.m.
Vespers etc.:
just like before
Snack instead of dinner at 18 p.m.
During the fast of the Church
Work: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Recess: until 13:30 p.m.
Work: from 13:30 p.m. to 14 p.m.
Fasting Days of Order
Lunch was at 11 a.m.
During Lent
Vespers at 11 a.m. before lunch
Reading from 14 p.m. to 15 p.m.: one full hour
The sisters of the white veil (converses) got up 1 hour earlier than the community but they had to go to bed by 21 p.m.
TH hourglass 20 inv

The hand de Therese holding an hourglass

picture number 20.