Liturgy 4

The Canonical Hours

In their daily routine members of the chapter would rise long before dawn each morning, walk the short distance from their houses in the cloister on the south side of the cathedral, passing through the south transept portal where they were greeted by the Golden Virgin on the central trumeau of the portal and by images of the miracles associated with the sainted bishop Honoré in the tympanum. They would then pass around the ambulatory to the sacristy located in the two-story edifice adjacent to the north choir aisle that also housed the head of John the Baptist. Having put on their clerical robes they would take their place in the upper ranks of the choir stalls, the principal officers of the chapter to the west and the others according to seniority.

This operation would be completed nine times or more in the course of the day with the eight offices and one or more celebrations of Mass. The nocturnal and morning services of Matins and Lauds were followed by the six liturgical hours with Prime taking place after dawn, Terce at mid-morning, Sext around midday, None in the afternoon, Vespers at dusk and Compline after dark. High mass normally followed Terce in the latter part of the morning.