How Many Hours a Week Do Nuns Work? (Do Nuns Get Time Off?)

I once saw a nun heading to the gym. This piqued my interest since I always assumed nuns never left their convents. Curious, I visited the local Catholic Church and spoke to one of the nuns working there and was also lucky to bump into the Catechist who was willing to share all the information I needed. They let me in on how nuns spent their days, and I was surprised to learn that their days weren’t what I had assumed. Decades later, one of my theology students asked if nuns got time off. She was a theology major who ran a Christian blog. She was researching her next piece. I shared with her what I learned from interacting with the nun. Here’s my take on the question, “How many hours a week do nuns work?”

Nuns typically work eight hours a day. Their days start at 5 am with prayers, mass, and breakfast. After breakfast, nuns start their work, which varies depending on orders. Cloistered nuns work within the convents, while active nuns leave the convents for work. Their workdays account for recreation and prayers.

In this article, I’ll look at the typical workday of most nuns, if nuns get time off, and how frequently they do.

How long do nuns work in a day?

How Many Hours a Week Do Nuns Work?
How long do nuns work in a day? Image source: Pixabay

This depends on the order. A cursory look at some daily schedules from various convents reveals most nuns work eight hours.

Cloistered nuns perform manual labor such as gardening, laundry, and other household chores. Additionally, they could engage in their order’s income-generating projects. For instance, the Trappistine sisters of Mount St. Mary’s Abbey are famous for their homemade candy.

Active nuns, on the other hand, work outside the convent. You’ll often find them teaching, working at their congregation printing press, or volunteering within their communities. They’ll have a typical 8 to 5 with breaks for prayer and lunch.

Do nuns work on weekends?

Most nuns work till Saturday. However, Sundays are for rest, and servile (unnecessary) work is prohibited. Most nuns attend mass and have time to rest and prepare for the week ahead. Nuns are also encouraged to engage in meaningful hobbies during their free time to strike a balance between work, prayer, and their interests.

Can nuns get time off?

Yes. Nuns get time off during the week. Additionally, they have annual leave days to visit friends and family. Most convents have two (sometimes three) recreational periods. Nuns engage in their favorite hobbies during these times. Furthermore, nuns get some time off work on Sundays and annual leave for about four weeks. Again, all these depend on their orders.

How often do nuns get time off of work?

Do Nuns Get Time Off?
How often do nuns get time off of work? Image source: Pixabay

As mentioned, nuns get at least one day off from work. Usually, this is on Sunday. Nuns refrain from unnecessary work on this day. However, they can still perform light chores and even teach within their congregations. Furthermore, they get an annual leave to visit family, friends, and other religious communities.

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