‘Monastic Life at Pantanassa’

Daily Life
‘The coenobitic life of the Monastery is a copy of the eternal assembly of worshippers based on the model of the endless doxology of the angels’ Elder Aimilianos of Simonos Petra

At the centre of a monk’s life at Pantanassa Monastery is common worship in the monastery’s Catholicon (main Church). The Catholicon is in the centre of the entire Monastic complex. The liturgical day of a monk begins with Vespers at 3.30 pm. At this time, a monk is responsible for sounding the wooden talanton. He travels throughout the monastery’s courtyard striking the talanton, calling the monks to the Catholicon, the ark of salvation.

After Vespers, the monks complete those duties that may have been left unfinished from earlier in the day. At 6.00 p.m. the monks are called to the refectory for a common meal. Apart from fish, monks in a traditional coenobitic monastery never eat meat. On fast days, however, (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) they have only one formal meal. During the meal the monks are reminded not to give undue attention to the food they partake of by the reading of an appropriate theological text.

At 7.00 pm the Small Compline service is read in the chapel. Monks then retire to their cells in order to rest and pray alone. At the heart of a monk’s life is his encounter with God in his cell in the middle of the night. It is a monk’s personal prayer that sets the tone for his spiritual life, and the life of the monastery itself.

Each day at 4.30 am, the monks return to the Katholikon to celebrate the Midnight Office, Matins and the First Hour. On main feast-days and Sundays the Divine Liturgy is also celebrated. Following morning service each of the fathers attend to their various monastic duties. At midday a common meal is shared and the monks then return to their cells for a period of contemplation and quiet. This reflects the normal daily life of a monk.

‘A humble man is never rushed, hasty, or agitated. At all times he remains calm.’  Saint Isaac the Syrian