Apart from the most important criteria for the genuineness of a calling, the search for God, St Benedict mentioned “zeal for the work of God” as a characteristic. Therefore worship and liturgy are at the centre of monastic life. According to St Benedict’s instructions, nothing is to be preferred to the work of God, so the entire day is structured by the liturgy of the hours. Seven times a day the community gathers in the choir for prayer: The Divine Office at the Abbey of St Hildegard is generally sung in Latin according to the church’s monastic tradition. It is in this way that our solidarity with the universal church finds expression. In the daily celebration of the Eucharist, the core of the monastic day, we consciously foster the use of Gregorian Chant, which interprets the word of God in a unique musical way and belongs to the great traditions of the Western Church.
The psalms are of fundamental significance within the Divine Office. All human feeling and experience find expression in these Old Testament songs and prayers in a singular way: praise and thanksgiving, remembering God’s deeds of salvation, trust and joy, longing for God, pain, lamentation and intercession. In this way all adversities and joys of the world, but also specific personal concerns of those close to us are brought before God.