Legiones Astartes Daily Rituals

0400 Morning Prayer
Day is begun with morning prayer and contemplation within the Company Chapel, led by the Company Chaplain. The Company standard and relics are displayed and the brethren repeat their oaths of loyalty to the Chapter and the Emperor. At this juncture the Captain may choose to address the brethren, issue orders, make any appropriate announcements (such as awards and promotions) and dispense summary punishments as deemed necessary.

0500 Morning Firing Rites
After prayer is complete the brethren undertake the first firing rites of the day. A variety of weaponry is used but the emphasis is placed on practice with the Space Marine's personal weaponry. Awards are made for consistently good marksmanship and punishments are inflicted for poor weapon discipline and accuracy. The firing rites may be undertaken in the ranges located in the armoury or outside the fortress.

0700 Battle Practice
The first battle practice of the day is generally geared towards hand-to-hand combat and close quarter fighting. The exact procedures followed vary immensely but often include numerous live-firing exercises and simulated battle conditions in a number of lethal or non-lethal environments. For this reason (and for reasons of defence) most of the Space Marine fortress monasteries are often situated in extremely inhospitable areas be they arctic, volcanic, corrosive, swamp, carnivorous jungle or a combination thereof.

1200 Midday Prayer
The brethren are gathered once more to give praise to the Emperor and their Primarch. During extended battle practice such prayer may be undertaken in the field, potentially while live-firing exercises continue. At this time any brethren severely injured in the morning battle practice are transported to the Apothacarion.

1300 Midday Meal
The Space Marines partake of their first sustenance of the day at this juncture. Frequently this will be a substance inedible to ordinary humans or a local lifeform which is hunted and slain during the morning battle practice.

1315 Tactical Indoctrination
Hypnotherapy and psychoconditioning are used to rapidly assimilate the Chapter tactical doctrines on a number of subjects. New battle languages are learned, alien weaponry, troops and vehicles are studied. Squad and company tactics are reviewed and lessons learned from the morning battle practice are examined.

1500 Battle Practice
Afternoon battle practice usually revolves around squad and company level tactics and reinforcement of the tactical indoctrination segment. Specialist squads such as devastors and assault troops will often use this opportunity to hone their particular skills while the tactical brethren practice close support with Dreadnoughts, armour and personnel carriers.

2000 Evening prayer
Evening prayer is viewed as a time for contemplation and giving thanks for the day's lessons learned. Once more praise is rendered to the Emperor and the Chapter's Primarch for the inception and existence of the Chapter. Gene-seed sampling may be undertaken at this time as it has by now been stimulated by the day's activities.

2100 Evening Meal
The evening meal is a more sedate affair than that at midday, with a substantial repast provided by the Chapter's serfs under the watchful eye of the Lord of the Household. Substantial quantities of protein rich food are made available, particularly to the younger brethren. Indulgent Chapter Masters may even permit the brethren to partake of alcoholic beverages at this time if the day's activities have been expertly done.

2130 Night Fighting Exercises
Chapters based on worlds where there is no perceptible night segment, or on ships in the void use this opportunity to practice combat underwater, in zero gravity, through dense fog or smoke or in other exotic conditions.

2315 Maintenance Rituals
Each Space Marine is expected to maintain and repair his own armour and weaponry according to standard rituals. Seriously damaged or defective gear is surrendered to the Master of the Forge for inspection and repair. Every effort is made to ensure that a Space Marine keeps the same set of equipment after their investiture so that they develop a close bond and understanding of the machine spirits they will rely on in battle.

2345 Free Time
Some Chapter Masters view this period of free time as an unwarranted luxury at best and a dangerous distraction at worst. It is maintained in most Chapters out of reverence for the Codex Astartes and Roboute Guilliman's words. "Consider (the) magnitude of your duty at your leisure, but act without hesitation when (action) is required." In honour of this Space Marines are permitted a short period of leisure each day to consider the magnitude of their duty to the Emperor.

0000 Rest Period Begins
Space Marines do not truly need sleep thanks to the Catalepscan Node -- an implant in their brain that enables them to rest half of their brain at a time whilst still maintaining awareness with the other half. However extended interference with the circadian rhythms of sleep has been shown to impair efficiency and induce personality disorders. To prevent this Space Marines enter a dreamless fugue state for four hours per day when not on campaign. The longest recorded incident of a Space Marine unit going without sleep was during the Ryan's World incident (Ref. 061.24/A) when the Crimson Fists remnants led by master Kantor remained operational for a period of 328.7 standard hours.

Complied from information supplied by the Black Consuls, Salamanders, Fleshtearers, Ultramarines and Silver Skulls Chapters. Additional notes are culled from the Codex Astartes (M38.transcription) and personal commentary by Captain Alhaus of the Black Templars.

Notes:

Many Chapter Masters and Company Captains favour changing times and details of the daily ritual to keep their brethren alert and able to quickly assimilate new orders or situations. Interruption of the rest period is frequent and the elimination of meals and the shortening of prayer times commonplace.

All Chapters have high days or feast days which usually celebrate the ascendance of the Emperor to the Golden Throne and the birth and death of their own Primarch (the actual dates observed for these practices vary immensely). On such special days all members of the Chapter who are present at the fortress will gather in the Assimularum for prayers led by the Chapter Master followed by a day long celebration which traditionally includes contests of skill and strength. This is also the traditional time for the acceptance of Neophytes, the elevation of Neophytes to Initiates, and the elevation of Initiates to Full Brethren. When there are worthy candidates, brethren may also be accepted into the Veteran company on a feast day. In all cases trials by ordeal are common, and in some cases fatal.

Typically brethren with special skills are permitted to work in the forges or the Apothacarion between the evening meal and rest period at the discretion of the Company Captain. There they are taught by the Techmarines or Apothecaries in their arcane crafts. Exceptional artisans and chirurgeons will be elevated to apprentice Techmarines or Apothecaries after a suitable period spent in vigil within the Solitorium.

The honour of guarding the Chapter Fortress is generally rotated between the 1st through 5th Companies according to which are present at the time. The 6th through 9th (reserve) companies train more regularly as they bear the majority of the Chapters most recently inducted brethren.

Brethren undertake penitence and purgation if they fail in their duties. This is usually self-imposed as a mark of dedication to the Emperor. Gross breaches of Chapter law may be met with death or exile of permanent or temporary nature (temporary exile is usually linked to the achievement of a specified goal).