day in the abbey
During the Middle Ages the nuns´ everyday life was like this: At four
o´clock one sister gets up and rings in the bell so the other nuns will
wake up. She rings twice. Everybody get up and make their beds and get
together to the prayer in the church.
There are 59 cells in the dormitory. There is one bed and one little chest
for clothes in each cell. There are no doors and it is very cold in the
winter because the dormitory is not heated. The mattresses are made by
straw and the pillows by leather.
The abbess has a room of her own a bit from the other rooms.
Work and Prayers
The nuns line up two by two in the dormitory and then they enter the church.
That is the start of a day that will continue with work and prayers until
the evening, when the nuns get some time of their own before it is time
to go to bed.
They only eat twice a day, but then they eat a square meal. Every dinner
takes two hours. The nuns eat soup, fish, meat, egg etc. Every nun is
allowed to drink two litres of bear every day. When they eat, the do it
under silence. One nun reads to the others.
The work of the nuns in Vadstena consists of writing books and embroidering
clothes to priests and decorations to churches. Many women want to be
nuns in Vadstena, but the waiting-list is long.