The monastic experience of time is shaped by the cyclical liturgical year, as well as by
the notion of linear historical progress. For a community dedicated to the
The cyclical nature of liturgical time was reinforced naturally in the cyclical recurrence of night and day and the cycle of the seasons. Yet monks and canons also experienced the linear succession of events. This sense of time was built into the Christian understanding of divine dispensation as the Old Testament was succeeded by the New. The brothers were aware of the succession of years, decades, centuries and millennia, noting the reigns of kings and popes in their charters, even if these were not often recorded numerically as they are today.