In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours normally contains a version of, or selection from, such prayers.
The practice of daily prayers grew from the Jewish practice of reciting prayers at set times of the day known as zmanim: for example, in the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Peter and John the Evangelist visit the Temple in Jerusalem for the afternoon prayers. Psalm 119:164 states: "Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws" (of this, Symeon of Thessalonica writes that "the times of prayer and the services are seven in number, like the number of gifts of the Spirit, since the holy prayers are from the Spirit").
This practice is believed to have been passed down through the centuries from the Apostles, with different practices developing in different places. As Christian monasticism spread, the practice of specified hours and liturgical formats began to develop and become standardized. Around the year 484, the Greek-Cappadocian monk Sabbas the Sanctified began the process of recording the liturgical practices around Jerusalem, while the cathedral and parish rites in the Patriarchate of Constantinople evolved in an entirely different manner.
In 525, Benedict of Nursia set out one of the earliest schemes for the recitation of the Psalter at the Office.
In the Catholic Church, canonical hours are also called offices, since they refer to the official set of prayers of the Church, which is known variously as the officium divinum ("divine service" or "divine duty"), and the opus Dei ("work of God"). The current official version of the hours in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is called the Liturgy of the Hours (Latin: liturgia horarum) in North America or divine office in Ireland and Britain.
In Anglicanism, they are often known as the daily or divine office, to distinguish them from the other 'offices' of the Church (holy communion, baptism, etc.).
In the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches, the canonical hours may be referred to as the divine services, and the book of hours is called the horologion (Greek: ῾Ωρολόγιον). Despite numerous small differences in practice according to local custom, the overall order is the same among Byzantine Rite monasteries, although parish and cathedral customs vary rather more so by locale. The usage in Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Eastern Catholic counterparts all differ from each other and from other rites.
Already well-established by the 9th century in the West, these canonical offices consisted of seven daily prayer events, including lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, and compline, as well as the night office, sometimes referred to as vigils, consisting of a number of sections called 'nocturnes'. Building on the recitation of psalms and canticles from scripture, the Church has added (and, at times, subtracted) hymns, hagiographical readings, and other prayers.
The canonical hours stemmed from Jewish prayer. In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelite priests to offer sacrifices of animals in the morning and evening (Exodus 29:38–39). Eventually, these sacrifices moved from the Tabernacle to Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. During the Babylonian captivity, when the Temple was no longer in use, the first synagogues were established, and the services (at fixed hours of the day) of Torah readings, psalms, and hymns began to evolve. This "sacrifice of praise" began to be substituted for the sacrifices of animals.
After the people returned to Judea, the prayer services were incorporated into Temple worship as well. As time passed, the Jews began to be scattered across the Greco-Roman world in what is known as the Jewish diaspora. By the time of the Roman Empire, the Jews (and eventually early Christians) began to follow the Roman system of conducting the business day in scheduling their times for prayer. In Roman cities, the bell in the forum rang the beginning of the business day at about six o'clock in the morning (Prime, the "first hour"), noted the day's progress by striking again at about nine o'clock in the morning (Terce, the "third hour"), tolled for the lunch break at noon (Sext, the "sixth hour"), called the people back to work again at about three o'clock in the afternoon (Nones, the "ninth hour"), and rang the close of the business day at about six o'clock in the evening (the time for evening prayer).
Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice ... and breathed His last.
The first miracle of the apostles, the healing of the crippled man on the temple steps, occurred because Saint Peter and John the Apostle went to the Temple to pray (Acts 3:1). Also, one of the defining moments of the early Church, the decision to include Gentiles among the community of believers, arose from a vision Peter had while praying at noontime (Acts 10:9–49).
As Christianity began to separate from Judaism, the practice of praying at fixed times continued. The early church was known to pray the Psalms (Acts 4:23–30), which have remained the principal part of the canonical hours. By 60 AD, the Didache, the oldest known liturgical manual for Christians, recommended disciples to pray the Lord's Prayer three times a day; this practice found its way into the canonical hours as well. Pliny the Younger (63 – c. 113), who was not a Christian himself, mentions not only fixed times of prayer by believers, but also specific services—other than the Eucharist—assigned to those times: "they met on a stated day before it was light, and addressed a form of prayer to Christ, as to a divinity ... after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble, to eat in common a harmless meal."
By the second and third centuries, such Church Fathers as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Tertullian wrote of the practice of Morning and Evening Prayer, and of the prayers at the third, sixth and ninth hours. The prayers could be prayed individually or in groups.
As the form of fixed-hour prayer developed in the Christian monastic communities in the East and West, the Offices grew both more elaborate and more complex, but the basic cycle of prayer still provided the structure for daily life in monasteries. By the fourth century, the elements of the canonical hours were more or less established. For secular (non-monastic) clergy and lay people, the fixed-hour prayers were by necessity much shorter, though in many churches, the form of the fixed-hour prayers became a hybrid of secular and monastic practice (sometimes referred to as 'cathedral' and 'monastic' models).
In the East, the development of the Divine Services shifted from the area around Jerusalem to Constantinople. In particular, Theodore the Studite (c. 758 – c. 826) combined a number of influences from the Byzantine court ritual with monastic practices common in Anatolia, and added thereto a number of hymns composed by himself and his brother Joseph (see typikon for further details).
In the West, the Rule of Saint Benedict was modeled his guidelines for the prayers on the customs of the basilicas of Rome. It was he who expounded the concept in Christian prayer of the inseparability of the spiritual life from the physical life. St. Benedict set down the dictum Ora et labora – "Pray and work". The Order of Saint Benedict began to call the prayers the Opus Dei or "Work of God." The fixed-hour prayers came to be known as the "Divine Office" (office coming from the Latin word for duty).
As the Divine Office grew more important in the life of the Church, the rituals became more elaborate. Praying the Office already required various books, such as a Psalter for the psalms, a lectionary to find the assigned Scripture reading for the day, a Bible to proclaim the reading, a hymnal for singing, etc. As parishes grew in the Middle Ages away from cathedrals and basilicas, a more concise way of arranging the hours was needed. So, a sort of list developed called the breviary, which gave the format of the daily office and the texts to be used. The spread of breviaries eventually reached Rome, where Pope Innocent III extended their use to the Roman Curia. The Franciscans sought a one-volume breviary for their friars to use during travels, so the order adopted the Breviarium Curiae, but substituting the Gallican Rite Psalter for the Roman. The Franciscans gradually spread this breviary throughout Europe. Eventually, Pope Nicholas III adopted the widely used Franciscan breviary to be the breviary used in Rome. By the 14th century, the breviary contained the entire text of the canonical hours.
The Council of Trent, in its final session on 4 December 1563, entrusted the reform of the Breviary to the Pope. On 9 July 1568, Pope Pius V, the successor of the Pope who closed the Council of Trent, promulgated an edition, known as the Roman Breviary, with his Apostolic Constitution Quod a nobis, imposing it in the same way in which, two years later, he imposed his Roman Missal and using language very similar to that in the bull Quo primum with which he promulgated the Missal, regarding, for instance, the perpetual force of its provisions, the obligation to use the promulgated text in all places, and the total prohibition of adding or omitting anything, declaring in fact: "No one whosoever is permitted to alter this letter or heedlessly to venture to go contrary to this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult declaration, will decree and prohibition. Should anyone, however, presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."
Later Popes altered the Roman Breviary of Pope Pius V. Pope Clement VIII made changes that he made obligatory on 10 May 1602, 34 years after Pius V's revision. Pope Urban VIII made further changes, including "a profound alteration in the character of some of the hymns. Although some of them without doubt gained in literary style, nevertheless, to the regret of many, they also lost something of their old charm of simplicity and fervour." For the profound revision of the book by Pope Pius X see Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X.
Pope Pius XII also began reforming the Roman Breviary, allowing use of a new translation of the Psalms and establishing a special commission to study a general revision, with a view to which all the Catholic bishops were consulted in 1955. His successor, Pope John XXIII, made a further revision in 1960.
Following the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church's Roman Rite simplified the observance of the canonical hours and sought to make them more suited to the needs of today's apostolate and accessible to the laity, hoping to restore their character as the prayer of the entire Church.
The Council itself abolished the office of Prime, and envisioned a manner of distributing the psalms over a period of more than 1 week. In the succeeding revision, the character of Matins was changed to an Office of Readings so that it could be used at any time of the day as an office of Scriptural and hagiographical readings. Furthermore, the period over which the entire Psalter is recited has been expanded from one week to four. Since 1985, with the publication of the second typical edition of the Latin liturgical books, the Latin hymns of the Roman Office were once again restored to their pre-Urban revision.
The Roman breviary is now published under the title Liturgia Horarum. A translation is published by Catholic Book Publishing Corp. under the title The Liturgy of the Hours in four volumes, arranged according to the liturgical seasons of the Church year.
The current liturgical books for the celebration of the Hours in Latin are those of the editio typica altera (second typical edition) promulgated in 1985. The official title is Officium Divinum, Liturgia Horarum iuxta Ritum Romanum, editio typica altera.
Two English translations are in use.
The Divine Office is translated by a commission set up by the Episcopal Conferences of England and Wales, Australia and Ireland. First published in 1974 by HarperCollins, this edition is the official English edition for use the above countries, as well as many Asian and African dioceses. This title comes complete in three volumes:
The psalms are taken from the 1963 Grail Psalms, while the Scriptural readings and canticles are taken from various versions of the Bible, including the Revised Standard Version, the Jerusalem Bible, the Knox Bible, the Good News Bible, and the New English Bible.
Collins also publishes shorter editions of The Divine Office:
Between 2005 and 2006, Collins republished The Divine Office and its various shorter editions with a new cover.
Catholic Truth Society published Prayer During the Day in 2009.
The Liturgy of the Hours is translated by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). First published in 1975 by Catholic Book Publishing Company in the US, this edition is the official English edition for use in the US, Canada and several other English-speaking dioceses. This title comes complete in four volumes in an arrangement identical to the original Latin typical edition.
The psalms are taken mainly from the 1963 Grail Psalms, while the Scriptural readings and canticles are taken from the New American Bible.
Shorter editions of the Liturgy of the Hours are also available from various publishers: Christian Prayer (Daughters of St Paul and Catholic Book Publishing Company), Shorter Christian Prayer (Catholic Book Publishing Company only) and Daytime Prayer (Catholic Book Publishing Company). In 2007, Liturgy Training Publications released the new Mundelein Psalter, which provided the complete Morning, Evening and Night Prayers from ICEL's translation set to chant tones.
Both these editions are based on the Latin 1971 editio typica.
Priests are required by canon law to pray the entire Divine Office each day while permanent deacons are required to pray the morning and evening hours. All clerics are free to use the Liturgy of the Hours or the traditional Roman Breviary, according to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, to fulfill this obligation. The practice among religious communities varies according to their rules and constitutions. The Second Vatican Council also exhorted the Christian laity to take up the practice, and as a result, many lay people have begun reciting portions of the Liturgy of the Hours.
The modern Liturgy of the Hours usage focuses on three major hours and from two to four minor hours:
The Office of Readings consists of:
The character of Morning Prayer is that of praise; of Evening Prayer, that of thanksgiving. Both follow the same format:
The daytime hours follow a simpler format:
Night prayer has the character of reflection on the day that is past and preparing the soul for its passage to eternal life:
In each office, the psalms and canticle are framed by antiphons, and each concludes with the traditional Catholic doxology.
In addition to the distribution of almost the whole Psalter over a four-week cycle, the Church also provides appropriate hymns, readings, psalms, canticles and antiphons, for use in marking specific celebrations in the Roman Calendar, which sets out the order for the liturgical year. These selections are found in the 'Proper of Seasons' (for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter), and the 'Proper of Saints' (for feast days of the Saints).
Because the Rite of Constantinople evolved as a synthesis of two distinct rites — cathedral rite of Constantinople called the "asthmatiki akolouthia" ("sung services") and the monastic typicon of the Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified near Jerusalem — its offices are highly developed and quite complex.
Two main strata exist in the rite, those places that have inherited the traditions of the Russian Church which had been given only the monastic Sabbaite typicon which she uses to this day in parishes and cathedrals as well as in monasteries, and everywhere else where some remnant of the cathedral rite remained in use; therefore, the rite as practiced in monasteries everywhere resembles the Russian recension, while non-Russian non-monastic customs differs significantly. For example, in the Russian tradition, the "all-night vigil" is served in every church on Saturday nights and the eves of feast days (all though it may be abridged to be as short as two hours) while elsewhere, it is usual to have Matins on the morning of the feast; however, in the latter instance, Vespers and matins are rather less abridged but the Divine Liturgy commences at the end of matins and the hours are not read, as was the case in the extinct cathedral rite of Constantinople.
Also, as the rite evolved in sundry places, different customs arose; an essay on some of these has been written by Archbishop Basil Krivoshein and is posted on the web.
The Horologion (῾Ωρολόγιον; Church Slavonic: Chasoslov, Часocлoвъ), or Book of Hours, provides the fixed portions of the Daily Cycle of services (Greek: akolouthies, ἀκολουθίες) as used by the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.
Into this fixed framework, numerous moveable parts of the service are inserted. These are taken from a variety of liturgical books:
Various cycles of the liturgical year influence the manner in which the materials from the liturgical books (above) are inserted into the daily services:
Each day of the week has its own commemoration:
Most of the texts come from the Octoechos, which has a large collections of hymns for each weekday for each of the eight tones; during great lent and, to a lesser degree, the pre-lenten season, the Lenten Triodion supplements this with hymns for each day of the week for each week of that season, as does the Pentecostarion during the pascal season. Also, there are fixed texts for each day of the week are in the Horologion and Priest's Service Book (e.g., dismissals) and the Kathismata (selections from the Psalter) are governed by the weekly cycle in conjunction with the season.
Commemorations on the Fixed Cycle depend upon the day of the calendar year, and also, occasionally, specific days of the week that fall near specific calendar dates, e.g., the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross. The texts for this cycle are found in the Menaion.
The commemorations on the Paschal Cycle (Moveable Cycle) depend upon the date of Pascha (Easter). The texts for this cycle are found in the Lenten Triodion, the Pentecostarion, the Octoechos and also, because the daily Epistle and Gospel readings are determined by this cycle, the Gospel Book and Apostle Book. The cycle of the Octoechos continues through the following great lent, so the variable parts of the lenten services are determined by both the preceding year's and the current year's dates of Easter.
The cycle of the eight Tones is found in the Octoechos and is dependent on the date of Easter and commences with the Sunday after (eighth day of) Easter, that week using the first tone, the next week using the second tone, and so, repeating through the week preceding the subsequent Palm Sunday.[note 9]
The portions of each of the Gospels from the narration of the Resurrection through the end are divided into eleven readings which are read on successive Sundays at matins; there are hymns sung at Matins that correspond with that day's Matins Gospel.
|Name of service in Greek||Name of service in English||Historical time of service||Theme|
|Esperinos (Ἑσπερινός)||Vespers||At sunset||Glorification of God, the Creator of the world and its Providence|
|Apodepnon (Ἀπόδειπνον)||Compline||At bedtime||Sleep as the image of death, illumined by Christ’s Harrowing of Hell after His death|
|Mesonyktikon (Μεσονυκτικόν)||Midnight Office||At midnight||Christ’s midnight prayer in Gethsemane; a reminder to be ready for the Bridegroom coming at midnight and the Last Judgment|
|Orthros (Ὄρθρος)||Matins or Orthros||Morning watches, ending at dawn||The Lord having given us not only daylight but spiritual light, Christ the Savior|
|Prote Ora (Πρῶτη Ὥρα)||First Hour (Prime)||At ~6 AM||Christ's being brought before Pilate.|
|Trite Ora (Τρίτη Ὥρα)||Third Hour (Terce)||At ~9 AM||Pilate's judgement of Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which happened at this hour.|
|Ekte Ora (Ἕκτη Ὥρα)||Sixth Hour (Sext)||At noon||Christ's crucifixion, which happened at this hour|
|Ennate Ora (Ἐννάτη Ὥρα)||Ninth Hour (None)||At ~3 PM||Christ's death which happened at this hour.|
|Typica (τυπικά) or Pro-Liturgy||Typica||follows sixth or ninth hour||.|
The Typica is served whenever the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated at its usual time, i.e., when there is a vesperal Liturgy or no Liturgy at all. On days when the Liturgy may be celebrated at its usual hour, the Typica follows the sixth hour (or Matins, where the custom is to serve the Liturgy then) and the Epistle and Gospel readings for the day are read therein;[note 11] otherwise, on aliturgical days or when the Liturgy is served at vespers, the Typica has a much shorter form and is served between the ninth hour and vespers.
Also, there are Inter-Hours for the First, Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours. These are services of a similar structure to, but briefer than, the hours. their usage varies with local custom, but generally they are used only during the Nativity Fast, Apostles Fast, and Dormition Fast on days when the lenten alleluia replaces "God is the Lord" at matins, which may be done at the discretion of the ecclesiarch when the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated.
In addition to these public prayers, there are also private prayers prescribed for both monastics and laypersons; in some monasteries, however, these are read in church. These include Morning and Evening Prayers and prayers (and, in Russia, canons) to be prayed in preparation for receiving the Eucharist.
The full cycle of services are usually served only in monasteries, cathedrals, and other katholika. In monasteries and parishes of the Russian tradition, the Third and Sixth Hours are read during the Prothesis ( Liturgy of Preparation); otherwise, the Prothesis is served during Matins, the final portion of which is omitted, the Liturgy of the Catechumens commencing straightway after the troparion following the Great Doxology.
The sundry Canonical Hours are, in practice, grouped together into aggregates so that there are three major times of prayer a day: Evening, Morning and Midday.[note 12] The most common groupings are as follows:
On the eves before Great Feasts and, in some traditions, on all Sundays, this grouping is used. However, the all-night vigil is usually abridged so as to not last literally "all-night" and may be as short as two hours; on the other hand, on Athos and in the very traditional monastic institutions, that service followed by the hours and Liturgy may last as long as 18 hours.
When the feast is a weekday (or, in the Russian tradition, on any day for Christmas, Theophany), Vespers (with the Liturgy in most instances) is served earlier in the day and so Great Compline functions much as Great vespers does on the vigils of other feast days.
The Alexandrian Rite is observed by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Coptic Catholic Church. The cycle of canonical hours is largely monastic, primarily composed of psalm readings. The Coptic equivalent of the Byzantine Horologion is the Agpeya.
Seven canonical hours exist, corresponding largely to the Byzantine order, with an additional "Prayer of the Veil" which is said by Bishops, Priests, and Monks (something like the Byzantine Midnight Office).
The hours are chronologically laid out, each containing a theme corresponding to events in the life of Jesus Christ:
Every one of the Hours follows the same basic outline:
The East Syriac Rite (also known as the Chaldean, Assyrian, or Persian Rite) has historically been used in Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Malabar. The nucleus of the Daily Office is of course the recitation of the Psalter. There are only three regular hours of service (Evening, Midnight, and Morning), with a rarely used Compline. When East Syriac monasteries existed (which is no longer the case) seven hours of prayer were the custom in them, and three hulali (sections) of the Psalter were recited at each service. This would accomplish the unique feat of the common recitation of the entire Psalter each day.
The present arrangement provides for seven hulali at each ferial night service, ten on Sundays, three on "Memorials", and the whole Psalter on Feasts of the Lord. At the evening service there is a selection of from four to seven psalms, varying with the day of the week, and also a Shuraya, or short psalm, with generally a portion of Psalm 118, varying with the day of the fortnight. At the morning service the invariable psalms are 109, 90, 103:1–6, 112, 92, 148, 150, 116. On ferias and "Memorials" Psalm 146 is said after Psalm 148, and on ferias Psalm 1:1–18, comes at the end of the psalms.
The rest of the services consist of prayers, antiphons, litanies, and verses (giyura) inserted—like the Greek stichera, but more extensively—between verses of psalms. On Sundays the Gloria in Excelsis and Benedicte are said instead of Psalm 146. Both morning and evening services end with several prayers, a blessing, (Khuthama, "Sealing" ), the kiss of peace, and the Creed.
The variables, besides the psalms, are those of the feast or day, which are very few, and those of the day of the fortnight. These fortnights consist of weeks called "Before" (Qdham) and "After" (Wathar), according to which of the two choirs begins the service. Hence the book of the Divine Office is called Qdham u wathar, or at full length Kthawa daqdham wadhwathar, the "Book of Before and After".
The East Syriac liturgical Calendar is unique. The year is divided into periods of about seven weeks each, called Shawu'i; these are Advent (called Subara, "Annunciation"), Epiphany, Lent, Easter, the Apostles, Summer, "Elias and the Cross", "Moses", and the "Dedication" (Qudash idta). "Moses" and the "Dedication" have only four weeks each. The Sundays are generally named after the Shawu'a in which they occur, "Fourth Sunday of Epiphany", "Second Sunday of the Annunciation ", etc., though sometimes the name changes in the middle of a Shawu'a. Most of the "Memorials" (dukhrani), or saints' days, which have special lections, occur on the Fridays between Christmas and Lent, and are therefore movable feasts; but some, such as Christmas, Theophany, the Dormition, and about thirty smaller days without proper readings, are on fixed days.
There are four shorter fasting periods besides the Great Lent; these are:
The Fast of the Ninevites commemorates the repentance of Nineveh at the preaching of Jonas, and is carefully kept. Those of Mar Zaya and the Virgins are nearly obsolete. The Malabar Rite has largely adopted the Roman Calendar, and several Roman days have been added to that of the Chaldean Catholics. The Chaldean Easter coincides with that of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as the Julian Calendar is used to calculate Easter. The years are numbered, not from the birth of Christ, but from the Seleucid era (year 1 = 311 B.C.).
The West Syriac Rite, used in Syria by the Syriac Orthodox (Jacobites) and Syriac Rite Catholic is in its origin simply the old rite of Antioch in the Syriac language. The translation must have been made very early, evidently before the division in the church over Chalcedon, before the influence of Constantinople over the Antiochian Rite had begun. No doubt as soon as Christian communities arose in the rural areas of Syria the prayers which in the cities (Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.) were said in Greek, were, as a matter of course, translated into Syriac for common use.
The Midnight prayer (Matins) consists of three qawme or "watches" (literally "standings"). As in other traditional rites, the ecclesiastical day begins in the evening at sunset with Vespers (Ramsho). Today, even in monasteries, the services are grouped together: Vespers and Compline are said together; Matins and Prime are said together; and the Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours are said together; resulting in three times of prayer each day.
The Syriac Orthodox Book of Hours is called the Shhimo, "simple prayer." The shhimo has offices for the canonical hours for each day of the week. Each canonical office begins and ends with a qawmo, a set of prayers that includes the Lord's Prayer. At the end of the office, the Nicene Creed is recited. The great part of the office consists of lengthy liturgical poems composed for the purpose, similar to the Byzantine odes.
The Daily Services in the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church are made up of nine services. The daily cycle of prayer begins with the Night Service, according to the ancient belief that a new day begins at nightfall.
The Night Service (midnight) Dedicated to the praising of God the Father. Themes of the service are: thanksgiving to God for the blessing of sleep and asking that the remainder of the night pass in peace and tranquility, and that the next day be spent in purity and righteousness.
The Third Hour (9:00 a.m.) Dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Symbolizes Eve’s original tasting the forbidden fruit and eventual liberation from condemnation through Jesus Christ. The service has a profound penitential meaning.
The Sixth Hour (noon) Dedicated to God the Father. Symbolizes Christ's Crucifixion. The prayers at the service ask for God's help towards feeble human nature.
The Ninth Hour (3:00 p.m.) Dedicated to God the Son. Symbolizes Christ's death and liberation of humanity from the power of the Hell.
The Evening Service (before sunset) Dedicated to God the Son. Symbolizes Christ's burial, asks God for a quiet night and a peaceful sleep.
The Peace Service (after sunset) Dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Symbolizes Christ's descent into Hell and liberation of the righteous from torments.
The Rest Service (before retiring for sleep) Dedicated to God the Father. In early times it was the continuation of the Peace Service.
In ancient times all nine services were offered every day, especially in monasteries. At present the following services are conducted in churches daily for the majority of the year:
During Great Lent, all of the services are offered on weekdays (except Saturday and Sunday) according to the following schedule:
The book which contains the hymns which constitute the substance of the musical system of Armenian liturgical chant is the Sharagnots (see Armenian Octoechos), a collection of hymns known as Sharakan. Originally, these hymns were Psalms and biblical Canticles that were chanted during the services, similar to the Byzantine Canon. In addition, the eight modes are applied to the psalms of the Night office, called ganonaklookh (Canon head).
The Book of Common Prayer, first published in 1549 and revised down the centuries, constitutes the basis of the liturgy for Anglicans and Anglican Use Roman Catholics. All Anglican prayer books provide offices for Morning Prayer (often called Mattins or Matins) and Evening Prayer (colloquially known as Evensong).
Since the early 20th century, revised editions of the Book of Common Prayer or supplemental service books published by Anglican churches have often added offices for midday prayer and Compline. The proposed Book of Common Prayer (1928) of the Church of England also restored the office of Prime, although it has only appeared in the 1965 prayer book of the Church of Melanesia. In England and other Anglican provinces, service books now include four offices:
Some prayer books also include a selection of prayers and devotions specifically for family use. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. also provides an "Order of Worship for the Evening" as a prelude to Evensong with blessings for the lighting of candles and the singing of the ancient Greek lamp-lighting hymn, the Phos Hilaron. In the Church of England, the publication in 2005 of Daily Prayer, the third volume of Common Worship, adds "Prayer During the Day" to the services for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline, and adds a selection of antiphons and responsories for the seasons of the Church Year. The 1989 New Zealand Prayer Book provides different outlines for Mattins and Evensong on each day of the week, as well as "Midday Prayer," "Night Prayer," and "Family Prayer."
In 1995, the Episcopal Church (United States) published the Contemporary Office Book in one volume with the complete psalter and all readings from the two-year Daily Office lectionary.
The traditional structure of Matins and Evensong in most Anglican prayer books reflects the intention by the reforming Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, to return to the office's older roots as the daily prayer of parish churches. For this purpose, he eliminated the lesser hours and conflated the medieval offices of Matins and Lauds, incorporating the canticles associated with each: the Benedictus and Te Deum. Similarly, Evening Prayer incorporated both the Magnificat from Vespers and the Nunc Dimittis from Compline. In Cranmer's design, each canticle was preceded by a reading from scripture. This parallelism of two readings, each followed by a canticle, is a distinctive feature of the Anglican daily office. For the sake of simplicity, Cranmer also eliminated responsories and antiphons, although these have been restored in many contemporary Anglican prayer books.
Like many other Reformers, Cranmer sought to restore the daily reading or singing of psalms as the heart of Christian daily prayer. Since his time, every edition of the Book of Common Prayer has included the complete psalter, usually arranged to be read over the course of a month. One distinctive contribution of Anglican worship is a broad repertory of Anglican Chant settings for the psalms and canticles.
The daily offices have always had an important place in Anglican spirituality. Until comparatively recently Mattins and Evensong were the principal Sunday services in most Anglican churches, sung to settings by composers both ancient and modern.
While Evensong with its musical repertory spanning five centuries continues to play an important role in Anglican worship, the eucharist has replaced Morning Prayer as the principal service on Sunday mornings in most Anglican parishes and cathedrals.
Most Anglican monastic communities use a Daily Office based on the Book of Common Prayer or on Common Worship but with additional antiphons and devotions. The Order of the Holy Cross and Order of St. Helena published A Monastic Breviary (Wilton, Conn.: Morehouse-Barlow) in 1976. The Order of St. Helena published the St. Helena Breviary (New York: Church Publishing) in 2006 with a revised psalter eliminating male pronouns in reference to God. The All Saints Sisters of the Poor also use an elaborated version of the Anglican Daily Office. The Society of St. Francis publishes Celebrating Common Prayer, which has become especially popular for use among Anglicans.
Some Anglo-Catholics use the Anglican Breviary, an adaptation of the Pre-Vatican II Roman Rite and the Sarum Rite in the style of Cranmer's original Book of Common Prayer, along with supplemental material from other western sources, including a common of Octaves, a common of Holy Women, and other material. It provides for the eight historical offices in one volume, but does not include the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was bound along with many editions of the Breviarium Romanum. Other Anglo-Catholics use the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours (US) or Divine Office (UK). Various Anglican adaptations of pre-Vatican II Roman office-books have appeared over the years, among the best known being Canon W. Douglas' translation of the 'Monastic Diurnal' into the idiom of the 'Book of Common Prayer'. Former Anglicans worshiping in Roman Catholic parishes of the Pastoral Provision and the Personal Ordinariates maintain the Anglican flavor of the Daily Office using the Book of Divine Worship, an adaptation of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer approved for Anglican Use Catholics in 2003.
Historically, Anglican clergy have vested in cassock, surplice and tippet for Morning and Evening Prayer, while bishops wear the rochet and chimere. In some monastic communities and Anglo-Catholic parishes, the officiant wears surplice or alb, stole and cope when Evensong is celebrated solemnly.
The canons of the Church of England and some other Anglican provinces require clergy to read Morning and Evening Prayer daily, either in public worship or privately. According to Canon C.24, "Every priest having a cure of souls shall provide that, in the absence of reasonable hindrance, Morning and Evening Prayer daily and on appointed days the Litany shall be said in the church, or one of the churches, of which he is the minister." Canon C.26 stipulates that "Every clerk (cleric) in Holy Orders is under obligation, not being let (prevented) by sickness or some other urgent cause, to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer...." In other Anglican provinces, the Daily Office is not a canonical obligation but is strongly encouraged.
F. W. Macdonald, the biographer of The Rt. Rev. John Fletcher Hurst, stated that Oxford Methodism "with its almost monastic rigors, its living by rule, its canonical hours of prayer, is a fair and noble phase of the many-sided life of the Church of England". The traditional 1784 Methodist Daily Office is contained in The Sunday Service of the Methodists, which was written by John Wesley himself. It was consequently updated in the Book of Offices, published in 1936 in Great Britain, and The United Methodist Book of Worship, published in 1992 in the United States. Some Methodist religious orders publish the Daily Office to be used for that community, for example, The Book of Offices and Services of The Order of Saint Luke contains Morning, Mid-Morning, Noon, Mid-Afternoon, Evening, Compline and Vigil.
The Liberal Catholic Church, and many groups in the Liberal Catholic movement, also use a simple version of the Western canonical hours, said with various scripture reading and collects. According to the Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church, the Scriptures used are generally limited to the readings of the day, and the complete psalter is not incorporated unless at the discretion of the priest presiding, if as a public service, or of the devotee in private use. The Hours of the Liberal Rite consist of: Lauds, Prime, Sext, Vespers, and Complin. Its recitation is not obligatory on Liberal Catholic priests or faithful, according to current directs from the General Episcopal Synod.
A pew edition of the Hours was published in 2002 by St. Alban's Press. However, the Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church also includes the Hours for recitation.
Some Reformed churches—notably the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ—have published daily office books adapted from the ancient structure of morning and evening prayer in the Western church, usually revised for the purpose of inclusive language.
The New Century Psalter, published in 1999 by The Pilgrim Press, includes an inclusive-language revision of the psalms adapted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible with refrains and complete orders for Morning and Evening Prayer. Simple family prayers for morning, evening and the close of day are also provided.
Book of Common Worship Daily Prayer, published in 1994 by Westminster John Knox Press, includes the daily offices from The Book of Common Worship of 1993, the liturgy of the Presbyterian Church USA. In addition to Morning and Evening Prayer there is a complete service for Compline. Its psalter—an inclusive-language revision of the psalter from the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer—also includes a collect for each psalm. Antiphons and litanies are provided for the seasons of the church year. A new Book of Common Worship Daily Prayer with expanded content was published in 2018. It adds a service for Mid-Day Prayer. Its new psalter is from Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
Both books are intended for ecumenical use and can be used with any daily lectionary.
Lutheran worship books usually include orders for Morning and Evening Prayer as well as Compline. Liturgies published by immigrant Lutheran communities in North America were based at first on the Book of Common Prayer. In recent years, under the impact of the liturgical movement, Lutheran churches have restored the historic form of the Western office. Both Evangelical Lutheran Worship published by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada as well as the Lutheran Service Book of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod provide daily offices along with a complete psalter.
The Church in 1935 approved Divine Worship (versions of morning prayer, other services and numerous collects) and in 1936 authorized the Book of Offices and, bound in with it, the Order for Morning Prayer: both still exhibited connections to the BCP and thus Wesley's orders, though the former showed a willingness to include newly composed prayers and those borrowed from other Free Church sources.
An Afterfeast is a period of celebration attached to one of the Great Feasts celebrated by the Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Churches (somewhat analogous to what in the West would be called an Octave).
The celebration of the Great Feasts of the church year are extended for a number of days, depending upon the particular Feast. Each day of an Afterfeast will have particular hymns assigned to it, continuing the theme of the Feast being celebrated. At each of the divine services during an Afterfeast, the (Gk.) troparion and (Gk.) kontakion of the feast are read or chanted. The (Gk.) canon of the feast will usually be chanted on every day of the Afterfeast (if two canons were chanted on the day of the feast, they will be alternated on the days of the afterfeast). Some of the Great Feasts of the Lord will have a special canon composed of only three odes, called a (Gk.) Triode, which will be chanted at Compline on each day of the Afterfeast.
Most of these Great Feasts also have a day or more of preparation called a Forefeast (those Feasts that are on the moveable Paschal Cycle do not have Forefeasts). Forefeasts and Afterfeasts will affect the structure of the services during the Canonical Hours.
The last day of an Afterfeast is called the Apodosis (Gk. "leave-taking", lit. "giving-back") of the Feast. On the Apodosis, most of the hymns that were chanted on the first day of the Feast are repeated. On the Apodosis of Feasts of the Theotokos, the Epistle and Gospel from the day of the Feast are repeated again at the Divine Liturgy.
The Forefeasts and Afterfeasts break down as follows:
Four of these Afterfeasts have a special commemoration on the day following the Feast, called a (Gk.) Synaxis. In this context, a Synaxis commemorates a saint who is intimately bound up with the Feast being celebrated. The four Synaxes are:
Synaxis of Ss. Joachim and Anna (9 September—the day after the Nativity of the Theotokos)
Synaxis of the Theotokos (26 December—the day after the Nativity of our Lord)
Synaxis of the Forerunner (7 January—the day after the Theophany of our Lord)
Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel (26 March—the day after the Annunciation) If the Annunciation falls during Holy Week the Synaxis is omitted.Other Great Feasts that have Afterfeasts (although no Forefeasts) are:
The Nativity of the Forerunner (June 24)
The Beheading of the Forerunner (August 29)
The Feast of the Holy Apostles, (Gk.) Peter and Paul (June 29).Each of these three has only 1 day of Afterfeast, and no Apodosis. These are not counted among the Twelve Great Feasts (i.e., Great Feasts of the Lord or Theotokos).
Even though the Patronal Feast of a parish church or monastery is treated as a Great Feast, it has no Forefeast or Afterfeast.
The Feast of the Procession of the Cross (August 1), though it is not counted as a Great Feast, has one day of Forefeast, and no Afterfeast.Alexandrian Rite
The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as well as by the three corresponding Eastern Catholic Churches.
The Alexandrian rite's Divine Liturgy contains elements from the liturgies of Saints Mark the Evangelist (who is traditionally regarded as the first bishop of Alexandria), Basil the Great, Cyril the Great, and Gregory Nazianzus. The Liturgy of Saint Cyril is a Coptic language translation from Greek of the Liturgy of Saint Mark.
The Alexandrian Rite is sub-grouped into two rites: the Coptic Rite and the Ge'ez Rite. The Coptic Rite is native to Egypt and traditionally uses the Coptic language with a few phrases in Greek. It is used in the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Coptic Catholic Church. Arabic and a number of other modern languages (including English) are also used. The Ge'ez Rite is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea and uses the Ge'ez language. It is used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo churches, and the Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholic churches.All-night vigil
The All-night vigil is a service of the Eastern Orthodox Church (and Eastern Catholic Church) consisting of an aggregation of the three canonical hours of Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour. The vigil is celebrated on the eves of Sundays and of major liturgical feasts.The vigil has been set to music most famously by Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose setting of selections from the service is one of his most admired works. Tchaikovsky's setting of the all-night vigil, along with his Divine Liturgy and his collection of nine sacred songs were of seminal importance in the later interest in Orthodox music in general, and settings of the all-night vigil in particular. Other musical settings include those by Chesnokov, Grechaninov, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Alexander Kastalsky, Hilarion Alfeyev, Clive Strutt and Einojuhani Rautavaara. It is most often celebrated using a variety of traditional or simplified chant melodies based on the Octoechos or other sources.Book of hours
The book of hours is a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. It is the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript. Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and psalms, often with appropriate decorations, for Christian devotion. Illumination or decoration is minimal in many examples, often restricted to decorated capital letters at the start of psalms and other prayers, but books made for wealthy patrons may be extremely lavish, with full-page miniatures. Books of hours were usually written in Latin (the Latin name for them is horae), although there are many entirely or partially written in vernacular European languages, especially Dutch. The English term primer is usually now reserved for those books written in English. Tens of thousands of books of hours have survived to the present day, in libraries and private collections throughout the world.
The typical book of hours is an abbreviated form of the breviary which contained the Divine Office recited in monasteries. It was developed for lay people who wished to incorporate elements of monasticism into their devotional life. Reciting the hours typically centered upon the reading of a number of psalms and other prayers. A typical example contains the Calendar of Church feasts, extracts from the Four Gospels, the Mass readings for major feasts, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, the seven Penitential Psalms, a Litany of Saints, an Office for the Dead and the Hours of the Cross.Most 15th-century books of hours have these basic contents. The Marian prayers Obsecro te ("I beseech thee") and O Intemerata ("O undefiled one") were frequently added, as were devotions for use at Mass, and meditations on the Passion of Christ, among other optional texts.Breviary
A breviary (Latin: breviarium) is a liturgical book used in Western Christianity for praying the canonical hours.Historically, different breviaries were used in the various parts of Christendom, such as Aberdeen Breviary, Belleville Breviary, Stowe Breviary and Isabella Breviary, although eventually the Roman Breviary became the standard within the Roman Catholic Church.Divine Service
Divine Service may refer to:
Divine Service (Lutheran), a term for the Eucharistic liturgy in Lutheran churches
Divine Service (Eastern Orthodoxy), the name of the Byzantine version of the canonical hoursDivine Service (Eastern Orthodoxy)
Divine Service is the term used in the Eastern Orthodox Church to describe the daily cycle of public services celebrated in the temple (church building).
The word may be used also of the Divine Liturgy, though its normal connotation is the Daily Office. For Orthodox Christians, the serving of God in divine worship is an obligation of every Christian. This obligation involves both private and public worship.In Orthodox theology, the first divine service was offered by Adam and Eve together in the Garden of Eden. In Paradise, divine worship consisted of freely glorifying God, which came naturally to them as a result of their unimpeded theoria (vision of God in his Divine Energies). After the Fall of man, this theoria became clouded, and worship required effort on the part of man. Now divine service was accomplished in the form of sacrificial offerings, penance and prayer. These sacrifices were later codified in the Law of Moses. Thence forward, only specific offerings were made, by specific persons (priests), in a specific manner, and at a specific place (eventually, the Temple in Jerusalem), and specific liturgical days and feasts were instituted. In Orthodox theology, any efficacy in these Old Testament sacrifices is dependent upon the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.After the Resurrection of Jesus and Pentecost, the Early Church originally continued to participate in the rites of the Jewish Temple (Acts 2:46-47; 3:1; 5:21, etc.), in addition to their own celebrations of the Eucharist and agape feasts. But after the Second Destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD, Christians began to develop their own distinct forms of worship. They did retain, however, some elements of Old Testament worship (chanting of the Psalms, use of incense, etc.) and the setting aside of specific times of the day for worship (Psalm 119:147-148; 119:164).
These periods of prayer eventually developed into seven distinct services, held (a) during the three major periods of the day (evening, morning, and noonday) and (b) during the night watches.Horae Canonicae
Horae Canonicae is a series of poems by W. H. Auden written between 1949 and 1955. The title is a reference to the canonical hours of the Christian Church, as are the titles of the seven poems constituting the series: "Prime", "Terce", "Sext", "Nones", "Vespers", "Compline", and "Lauds". Each refers to a fixed time of the day for prayer.
The canonical hours create a framework for the dramatization of Auden's religious position, which he described in a letter as "very much the same as Reinhold [Neibuhr]'s, i.e. Augustinian, not Thomist (I would
allow a little more place, perhaps, for the Via Negativa.) Liturgically, I am
Anglo-Catholic..."."Prime" and "Nones" were first published in Auden's collection Nones (1951). Horae Canonicae was published as a unity in Auden's The Shield of Achilles (1955).Horologion
The Horologion (Greek: Ὡρολόγιον; Church Slavonic: Часocлoвъ, Chasoslov, Romanian: Ceaslov) or Book of hours provides the fixed portions (Greek: ἀκολουθίαι, akolouthiai) of the Divine Service or the daily cycle of services as used by the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. Into this fixed framework of the services, are inserted numerous parts changing daily.
In its original sense, a horologion (Greek: ὠρολόγιον, "the hour-teller" from ὥρα hṓra "hour" and -λόγιον-logion, "teller") or Latin horologium was any device or structure for keeping time, such as a sundial or the Tower of the Winds in Athens.Jeanne d'Évreux
Jeanne d'Évreux (1310 – 4 March 1371) was Queen of France and Navarre as the third wife of King Charles IV of France. She was the daughter of his uncle Louis, Count of Évreux and Margaret of Artois. Their lack of sons caused the end of the direct line of the Capetian dynasty. Because she was his first cousin, the couple required papal permission to marry from Pope John XXII. They had three daughters, Jeanne, Marie and Blanche.
Jeanne died on 4 March 1371 in her château at Brie-Comte-Robert, in the Île-de-France region, some twenty miles southeast of Paris. She was buried at the Basilica of St Denis, the necropolis of the Kings of France.
Two of Jeanne's remarkable possessions survive: her book of hours and a statue of the Virgin and Child. The Book of Hours, known as the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, is in The Cloisters collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It was commissioned from the artist Jean Pucelle between 1324 and 1328, probably as a gift from her husband. The book contains the usual prayers of the canonical hours as arranged for the laity along with the notable inclusion of the office dedicated to St Louis, her great-grandfather. The small statue of the Virgin and Child (gilded silver and enamel, 69 cm high), which Jeanne left to the monastery of St Denis outside Paris, is in the Louvre Museum.Lauds
Lauds is a divine office that takes place in the early morning hours. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours, as celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, it is one of the two major hours.Little Hours
The Little Hours or minor hours are the canonical hours other than the three major hours.
The major hours are those whose traditional names are matins, lauds and vespers. Since the reform of the Liturgy of the Hours mandated by the Second Vatican Council, they are called the office of readings, morning prayer and evening prayer. The minor hours, so called because their structure is shorter and simpler than that of the major hours, are those celebrated between lauds and vespers (morning and evening prayer) together with compline (night prayer).Liturgy of the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours (Latin: Liturgia Horarum) or Divine Office (Latin: Officium Divinum) or Work of God (Latin: Opus Dei) or canonical hours, often referred to as the Breviary, is the official set of prayers "marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer". It consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns, readings and other prayers and antiphons. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.Celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours is an obligation undertaken by priests and deacons intending to become priests, while deacons intending to remain deacons are obliged to recite only a part. The constitutions of religious institutes generally oblige their members to celebrate at least parts and in some cases to do so jointly ("in choir"). The laity are under no public obligation to do so, but may oblige themselves to do so by personal vow, and "are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually".The Liturgy of the Hours, along with the Eucharist, has formed part of the Church's public worship from the earliest times. Christians of both Western and Eastern traditions (including the Latin Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, Anglican, Lutheran, and some other Protestant churches) celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours in various forms and under various names.
Within the Latin Church, the present official form of the entire Liturgy of the Hours is that contained in the four-volume publication Liturgia Horarum, the first edition of which appeared in 1971. English translations were soon produced and were made official for their territories by the competent episcopal conferences. The three-volume Divine Office, which uses a range of different English Bibles for the readings from Scripture, was published in 1974; the four-volume Liturgy of the Hours, with Scripture readings from the New American Bible, appeared in 1975. Before 1971, the official form for the Latin Church was the Breviarium Romanum, first published in 1568.
In the Byzantine Rite, the corresponding services are found in the Ὡρολόγιον (Horologion), meaning Book of Hours. Anglican Liturgy of the Hours is contained in the book of Daily Prayer of Common Worship and the Book of Common Prayer, as well as in the Anglican Breviary. The Lutheran counterpart is contained in the liturgical books used by the various Lutheran church bodies.
Other names in Latin liturgical rites for the Liturgy of the Hours include "Diurnal and Nocturnal Office", "Ecclesiastical Office", Cursus ecclesiasticus, or simply cursus.Novitiate
The novitiate, also called the noviciate, is the period of training and preparation that a Christian novice (or prospective) monastic, apostolic, or member of a religious order undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether he or she is called to vowed religious life. It often includes times of intense study, prayer, living in community, studying the vowed life, deepening one's relationship with God, and deepening one's self-awareness. It is a time of creating a new way of being in the world. The novitiate stage in most communities is a two-year period of formation. These years are "Sabbath time" to deepen one's relationship with God, to intensify the living out of the community's mission and charism, and to foster human growth. The novitiate experience for many communities includes a concentrated program of prayer, study, reflection and limited ministerial engagement.
Novices are not admitted to vows until they have successfully completed the prescribed period of training and proving, called the novitiate. In the Middle Ages novices typically would have dormitories in separate areas within a monastery; an early Cistercian monastery, Royal Monastery of Our Lady of the Wheel, founded in 1202, has this chamber clearly visible today.
Earlier, different orders followed their own rules governing the length and conditions of the novitiate. At the time of the Reformation, the Council of Trent legislated the length and conditions by which anyone aspiring to become a monk is obliged to be a novice; the usual period is at least one year, depending on the aptitude of the candidate.
The novitiate, through which life in an institute is begun, is arranged so that the novices better understand their divine vocation, and indeed one which is proper to the institute, experience the manner of living of the institute, and form their mind and heart in its spirit, and so that their intention and suitability are tested.
—Canon Law 646
Conscious of their own responsibility, the Novices are to collaborate actively with their Director in such a way that they faithfully respond to the grace of a divine vocation.
—Canon Law 652.3
Members of the institute are to take care that they cooperate for their part in the work of formation of the Novices through example of life and prayer
—Canon Law 652.3
Novices are to be led to cultivate human and Christian virtues; through prayer and self denial they are to be introduced to a fuller way of perfection; they are to be taught to contemplate the mystery of salvation and to read and meditate on the sacred scriptures; they are to be prepared to cultivate the worship of God in the sacred liturgy; they are to learn a manner of leading a life consecrated to God and humanity in Christ through the evangelical counsels; they are to be instructed regarding the character and spirit, the purpose and discipline, the history and life of the institute; and they are to be imbued with love for the Church.
—Canon Law 652
A novice is free to quit the novitiate at any time, and the Novice Director, Formation Director, or Superior is free to dismiss him or her with or without cause in most communities.
Often, in novicating, the vows are continuous through training.
In some novitiate communities, mostly monastic, the novice often wears clothing that is distinct from secular dress but is not the full habit worn by professed members of the community. The novice's day normally encompasses participation in the full canonical hours, manual labor, and classes designed to instruct novices in the religious life he is preparing to embrace. Spiritual exercises and tests of humility are common features of a novitiate. Some Roman Catholic communities encourage frequent confession and reception of Holy Communion by their novices.
A Superior will often appoint an experienced member of the community to oversee the training of novices. This may be a Finally Professed Member, novice master or mistress who is responsible for the training of all novices.
Different religious communities will have varying requirements for the duration of the novitiate. Often one must complete a postulancy before officially entering the novitiate. In many apostolic religious communities in the United States, postulancy or candidacy is one to three years. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the novitiate is officially set at three years before one may be tonsured a monk or nun, though this requirement may be waived.
The term "novitiate" also refers to the building, house, or complex within a monastery or convent that is devoted exclusively to the needs of novices (sleeping, training, etc.).Ordinary (liturgy)
The ordinary, in Roman Catholic and other Western Christian liturgies, refers to the part of the Eucharist or of the canonical hours that is reasonably constant without regard to the date on which the service is performed. It is contrasted to the proper, which is that part of these liturgies that varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the liturgical year, or of a particular saint or significant event, and to the common, which contains those parts that are common to an entire category of saints, such as apostles or martyrs.
The ordinary of both the Eucharist and the canonical hours does, however, admit minor variations in accordance with the seasons, such as omission of "Alleluia" in Lent and its addition in Eastertide.
These two are the only liturgical celebrations in which a distinction is made between an ordinary and other parts. It is not made in other celebrations of Christian liturgy: administration of sacraments other than the Eucharist, blessings, and other rites.
In connection with liturgy, the term "ordinary" may also refer to Ordinary Time—those parts of the liturgical year that are part neither of the Easter cycle of celebrations (Lent and Eastertide) nor of the Christmas cycle (Advent and Christmastide), periods that were once known as "season after Epiphany" and "season after Pentecost".In addition the term "ordinary liturgy" is used to refer to regular celebrations of Christian liturgy, excluding exceptional celebrations.Prime (liturgy)
Prime, or the First Hour, is one of the canonical hours of the Divine Office, said at the first hour of daylight (6:00 a.m. at the equinoxes but earlier in summer, later in winter), between the dawn hour of Lauds and the 9 a.m. hour of Terce. It remains part of the Christian liturgies of Eastern Christianity, but in the Latin Rite it was suppressed by the Second Vatican Council. However, clergy under obligation to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours may still fulfil their obligation by using the edition of the Roman Breviary promulgated by Pope John XXIII in 1962, which contains Prime. Like all the liturgical hours, except the Office of Readings, it consists mainly of Psalms. It is one of the Little Hours.Proper (liturgy)
The proper (Latin: proprium) is a part of the Christian liturgy that varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the liturgical year, or of a particular saint or significant event. The term is used in contrast to the ordinary, which is that part of the liturgy that is reasonably constant, or at least selected without regard to date, or to the common, which contains those parts of the liturgy that are common to an entire category of saints, such as apostles or martyrs.
Propers may include hymns and prayers in the canonical hours and in the Eucharist.Tide dial
A tide dial, also known as a Mass or scratch dial, is a sundial marked with the canonical hours rather than or in addition to the standard hours of daylight. Such sundials were particularly common between the 7th and 14th centuries in Europe, at which point they began to be replaced by mechanical clocks. There are more than 3,000 surviving tide dials in England and at least 1,500 in France.Witching hour (supernatural)
In folklore, the witching hour or devil's hour is a time of night associated with supernatural events. Creatures such as witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful. Black magic is thought to be most effective at this time. In the Western Christian tradition, the hour between 3 and 4 a.m. was considered a period of peak supernatural activity, due to the absence of prayers in the canonical hours during this period. Women caught outside without sufficient reason during this time were sometimes executed on suspicion of witchcraft. The phrase "witching hour" was first recorded in 1835.Psychological literature suggests that apparitional experiences and sensed presences are most common between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m., corresponding with a 3 a.m. peak in the amount of melatonin in the body.More recently, the hours between midnight and 2 a.m. have been considered the witching hour.The term may be used colloquially to refer to any period of bad luck, or in which something bad is seen as having a greater likelihood of occurring.
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