Prayer usually takes place in the katholikon at the times of common prayer in the services of the Midnight Office, Matins, the Canonical Hours, the Divine Liturgy, Vespers, and Compline.
Of course, apart from common prayer in the katholikon, each monk has the opportunity to engage in the practice of prayer in his own cell, the ultimate goal being to attain to St Paul’s injunction to “pray without ceasing”9. This is accomplished through the repetition of the prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. Through this prayer it is also possible for every monk to pray over and above the times of the offices prescribed by the typikon*, and even, depending on measure of his purity, right conduct and progress, in his sleep – in the words of Scripture, “I sleep but my heart is awake”10. Furthermore, the study of patristic literature is a welcome spiritual occupation for every monk and is considered to be an extension of prayer. Among the principal writings read by the monks are the works of Basil the Great, John Climacus, Abba Dorotheus, John of Damascus and the Philokalia. In addition, during the common meals in the refectory, lives of the saints, festal discourses, commentaries on the Scripture readings for the day, etc. are read aloud.