Further expanding the parody of medieval Christian life in general and of monastic life in particular, the Narrator marks the brigata's time according to traditional medieval time designators, namely, the seven canonical hours.
In monasteries and convents, the first canonical hour ushers in all the following canonical hours, the liturgy of the mass, and all other daily activities, according to a schedule organized purposefully to ensure that the monks avoid all forms of idleness and their lives are totally oriented toward God.
Benedict's rule meticulously indicates which psalms should be recited during each of the seven canonical hours.
12) In his De vita solitaria, Petrarch describes his life as a scholar and as a Christian dividing the time according to the seven canonical hours.
33) To explain the canonical hours and related terms, I will refer to the online Catholic Encyclopedia.
31) The only canonical hour or hours not included in the previous list, namely, Matins and Lauds--considered as a single canonical hour probably from the eighth century onwards--could be explained in one of the two following ways: Matins and Lauds are parodied in the brigata's festivities at the end of the day, which typically continue well into the night, or at the beginning of each day, when the group is awakened early in the morning and immediately begins their daily festive activities.
The sacramental character and temporal rhythm of the Canonical Hours depend on a philosophy of history in which the tasks of time, the cross of the moment, bear the signature of the infinite.
In 1947 he was studying the origin and history of the canonical hours and by then he had read (and admired) Niebuhr's The Nature and Destiny of Man, Tillich's The Interpretation of History and mimeographed copies of the systematic theology (Ursula Niebuhr 106).