Liturgical prayer is the heart of the Church. Its rhythm also marks the life of the monastery which pilgrims can share.
In the afternoon, at seven o’clock, after a short rest, the office of Vespers is celebrated in the Romanesque church of Our Lady. These are afternoon prayers which consist of hymns, psalms and canticles, in which we give thanks to our Lord who was crucified on the Cross. Vespers are sung in Latin in the Gregorian tradition. They last approximately 30 minutes. So that pilgrims may actively participate, leaflets are available which contain the Latin text and translations in Spanish, French, German and English.
After Vespers, one may celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation. The confession of sins and the absolution of the Church invoke the parable of the Prodigal Son: leaving one’s paternal home for a life of sin, he returns home seeking forgiveness from his father who welcomes him back with open arms of mercy. This is our life: a journey into sin and a return pilgrimage for conversion of life. After Vespers, there is always a priest available to help those who would like to confess and experience the joy of the love of God the Father through peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.
At the end of the day, the Church returns to prayer to commend itself to the Lord before resting for the night. This is the office of Compline. It is also sung according to the Benedictine tradition. It begins at 9:30 PM and lasts approximately 20 minutes. After it ends, the Blessing of the Pilgrims is given, according to the medieval tradition found on the Camino de Santiago and then the Salve is intoned.
A new day begins with the office of Laudes, the prayer of the morning. Before ascending towards the Iron Cross (Cruz de Hierro), pilgrims may chose to participate in this beautiful office.
At 8:30 AM, the Eucharist is celebrated. The Lord is the Bread for our Way. He gives us his Body and Blood, through which we are transported to the King of the Heavens. His Word illuminates our walk. It is a privilege each and every day to participate. Prayer walks with two feet: liturgical celebrations and personal prayer. When you pray, go to your room, shut the door and pray to your Father, do this in secret; so that He sees you in secret and will listen to your prayer (Matthew 6:6). To this purpose, we have sought to keep the doors of the churches in Rabanal open, not only for visits from tourists, but to provide a place for solitude and prayer. If you wish to deepen your prayer life, spiritual books, such as the Holy Scriptures or monastic and Jacobean spirituality, are available for purchase in the monastery shop.