Matins is a canonical hour of Christian liturgy.

The earliest use of the name[1] was in reference to the canonical hour, also called the vigil, which was originally celebrated by monks from about two hours after midnight to, at latest, the dawn, the time for the canonical hour of lauds. It was divided into two or (on Sundays) three nocturns. Outside of monasteries, it was generally recited at other times of the day, often in conjunction with lauds.

In the Byzantine Rite these vigils correspond to the aggregate comprising the midnight office, orthros, and the first hour.

In a later use, especially in Anglican tradition, the hour of matins (also spelled mattins) is morning prayer. Lutherans preserve recognizably traditional matins distinct from morning prayer, but "matins" is sometimes used in other Protestant denominations to describe any morning service.

Roman Rite


The every-night monastic canonical hour that later became known as matins was at first called a "vigil", from Latin vigilia. For soldiers, this word meant a three-hour period of being on the watch during the night. Even for civilians, night was commonly spoken of as divided into four such watches: the Gospels use the term when recounting how, at about "the fourth watch of the night", Jesus came to his disciples who in their boat were struggling to make headway against the wind,[2] and one of the Psalms says to the Lord: "A thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."[3]

The sixth-century Rule of Saint Benedict uses the term vigiliae ("vigils") fifteen times to speak of these celebrations, accompanying it four times with the adjective nocturnae ("nocturnal") and once with the wordsseptem noctium ("of the seven nights", i.e., the nights of the week).[4]

English versions of this document often obscure its use of the term "vigil", translating it as "Night Hour" or "Night Office". Thus Leonard J. Doyle's English version uses "Night Office" to represent indifferently the unaccompanied noun vigilia ("vigil"), the phrase nocturna vigilia ("night vigil"), and the phrases nocturna hora ("night hour) and nocturna laus ("nocturnal praise").[5]

The practice of rising for prayer in the middle of the night is as old as the Church.[6] Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240) speaks of the "nocturnal convocations" (nocturnae convocationes) of Christians and their "absence all the night long at the paschal solemnities" (sollemnibus Paschae abnoctantes)[7] Cyprian (c. 200 – 258) also speaks of praying at night, but not of doing so as a group: "Let there be no failure of prayers in the hours of night — no idle and reckless waste of the occasions of prayer" (nulla sint horis nocturnis precum damna, nulla orationum pigra et ignava dispendia).[8] The Apostolic Tradition speaks of prayer at midnight and again at cockcrow, but seemingly as private, not communal, prayer.[9] At an earlier date, Pliny the Younger reported in about 112 that Christians gathered on a certain day before light, sang hymns to Christ as to a god and shared a meal.[10] The solemn celebration of vigils in the churches of Jerusalem in the early 380s is described in the Peregrinatio Aetheriae.

Prayer at midnight and at cockcrow was associated with passages in the Gospel of Matthew[11] and the Gospel of Mark.[12][13] On the basis of the Gospel of Luke,[14] too, prayer at any time of the night was seen as having eschatological significance.[15]

The quotation from Tertullian above refers to the all-night vigil service held at Easter. A similar service came to be held in the night that led to any Sunday. By the fourth century this Sunday vigil had become a daily observance, but no longer lasted throughout the night. What had been an all-night vigil became a service only from cockcrow to before dawn.[16] Saint Benedict wrote about it as beginning at about 2 in the morning ("the eighth hour of the night") and ending in winter well before dawn (leaving an interval in which the monks were to devote themselves to study or meditation),[17] but having to be curtailed in summer in order to celebrate lauds at daybreak.[18]


The word "matins" is derived from Latin adjective matutinus, meaning "of or belonging to the morning".[19] It was at first applied to the psalms recited at dawn, but later became attached to the prayer originally offered, according to the fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions, at cockcrow[20] and, according to the sixth-century Rule of Saint Benedict, at could be calculated to be the eighth hour of the night (the hour that began at about 2 a.m.).[21][22]

Between the vigil office and the dawn office there was in the long winter nights there was an interval, which "should be spent in study by those [monks] who need a better knowledge of the Psalter or the lessons"; in the summer nights the interval was short, only enough for the monks to "go out for the necessities of nature".[23][24] The vigil office was also shortened in the summer months by replacing readings with a passage of scripture recited by heart, but keeping the same number of psalms. Both in summer and in winter the vigil office was longer than on other days, with more reading and the recitation of canticles in addition to the psalms.<Rule of Saint Benedict, 10−11</ref>

Outside of monasteries few rose at night to pray. The canonical hour of the vigil was said in the morning, followed immediately by lauds, and the name of "matins" became attached to the lengthier part of what was recited at that time of the day, while the name of "lauds", a name originally describing only the three Psalms 148−150 recited every day at the end of the dawn office (until excised in the 1911 reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X; see Lauds), was applied to the whole of that office, substituting for the lost name of "matins" or variants such as laudes matutinae (morning praises) and matutini hymni (morning hymns). An early instance of the application of the named "matins" to the vigil office is that of the Council of Tours in 567, which spoke of ad matutinum sex antiphonae.[25]

The Rule of Saint Benedict clearly distinguished this one nighttime hour, to which he applied Psalm 118/119:62, "At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules",[26] from the seven daytime hours, including matutini (matins, the hour of the morning psalms at dawn), which he associated with Psalm 118/119:164, "Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules".[27][28]

The word "vigil" also took on a different meaning: no longer a prayerful watch at night before a religious feast, but the day before a feast.[29][30]

Monastic matins

The canonical hour began with the versicles, "O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me" and "O Lord, Thou wilt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise" (the latter said three times) followed by Psalm 3 and Psalm 94/95 (the Invitatory). The Invitatory was to be recited slowly out of consideration for any late-arriving monk, since anyone appearing after its conclusion was punished by having to stand in a place apart.[31] After this a hymn was sung.

Next came two sets of six psalms followed by readings. (Such sets would later be called nocturns.) The first set was of six psalms followed by three readings from the Old or New Testaments or from Church Fathers. Each reading was followed by a responsory. The second set of six psalms was followed by a passage from the Apostle Paul recited by heart and by some prayers. The Night Office then concluded with a versicle and a litany that began with Kyrie eleison.[32]

Since summer nights are shorter, from Easter to October a single passage from the Old Testament, recited by heart, took the place of the three readings used during the rest of the year.[33]

On Sundays, the office was longer, and therefore began a little earlier. Each set of six psalms was followed by four readings instead of three after the first set and a single recitation by heart after the second set. Then three canticles taken from Old Testament books other than the Psalms were recited, followed by four readings from the New Testament, the singing of the Te Deum, and a reading by the abbot from the Gospels, after which another hymn was sung.[34]

Roman Breviary matins

In the Roman Breviary, use of which was made obligatory throughout the Latin Church (with exceptions for forms of the Liturgy of the Hours that could show they had been in continuous use for at least two hundred years) by Pope Pius V in 1568, matins and lauds were seen as a single canonical hour, with lauds as an appendage to matins.[35]

Its matins began, as in the monastic matins, with versicles and the invitatory Psalm 94 (Psalm 95 in the Masoretic chanted or recited in the responsorial form, that is to say, by one or more cantors singing one verse, which the choir repeated as a response to the successive verses sung by the cantors. A hymn was then sung.

After that introduction, Sunday matins had three sections ("nocturns"), the first with 12 psalms and 3 very short scriptural readings; the second with 3 psalms and 3 equally short patristic readings; and the third with 3 psalms and 3 short extracts from a homily. Matins of feasts of double or semidouble rank had 3 nocturns, each with 3 psalms and 3 readings.[36] On a feast of simple rank, a feria or a vigil day, matins had 12 psalms and 3 readings with no division into nocturns.[37][38]

The psalms used at matins in the Roman Breviary from Sunday to Saturday were Psalms 1−108/109 in consecutive order, omitting a few that were reserved for other canonical hours: Psalms 4, 5, 21/22−25/26, 41/42, 50/51, 53/54, 62/63, 66/67, 89/90−92/93.[39] The consecutive order was not observed for the invitatory psalms, recited every day, and in the matins of feasts.

Each reading was followed by a responsory, except the last one, when this was followed by the Te Deum.

20th-century changes

Matins underwent profound changes in the 20th century. The first of these changes was the reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X in 1911, resulting in what Pope Paul VI called "a new Breviary".[40] The reservation of Psalms 1-108/109 to matins and the consecutive order within that group were abandoned, and, apart from the invitatory psalm, which continued in its place at matins every day, no psalm was ordinarily repeated within the same week. To facilitate an even distribution among the days of the week, the longer psalms were divided into shorter portions, as only the very long Psalm 118/119 had been previously. Matins no longer had 18 psalms on Sundays, 12 on ordinary days and 9 on the more important feasts: on every day it had 9 psalms, either distributed among three nocturns or recited all together, maintaining the distinction between celebrations as three nocturns with nine readings (including Sundays) and those arranged as a single nocturn with only three readings.[39]

In 1947, Pope Pius XII entrusted examination of the whole question of the Breviary to a commission which conducted a worldwide consultation of the Catholic bishops. He authorized recitation of the psalms in a new Latin translation and in 1955 ordered a simplification of the rubrics.[40]

In 1960, Pope John XXIII issued his Code of Rubrics, which assigned nine-readings matins only to first-class and second-class feasts and therefore reduced the readings of Sunday matins to three.[41]

In 1970, Pope Paul VI published a revised form of the Liturgy of the Hours, in which the psalms were arranged in a four-week instead of a one-week cycle, but the variety of other texts was greatly increased, in particular the scriptural and patristic readings, while the hagiographical readings were purged of non-historical legendary content.[42]

What had previously been called matins was given the name of "office of readings" (officium lectionis) and was declared appropriate for celebrating at any hour, while preserving its nocturnal character for those who wished to celebrate a vigil.[43] For that purpose alternative hymns are provided and an appendix contains material, in particular canticles and readings from the Gospels, to facilitate celebration of a vigil. The Catholic Church has thus restored to the word "vigil" the meaning it had in early Christianity. Pope John XIII's Code of Rubrics still used the word "vigil" to mean the day before a feast, but recognized the quite different character of the Easter Vigil, which, "since it is not a liturgical day, is celebrated in its own way, as a night watch".[44] The Roman liturgy now uses the term "vigil" either in this sense of "a night watch" or with regard to a Mass celebrated in the evening before a feast, not before the hour of First Vespers.[45]

The psalmody of the office of readings consists of three psalms or portions of psalms, each with its own antiphon. These are followed by two extended readings with their responsories, the first from the Bible (but not from the Gospels), and the second being patristic, hagiographical, or magisterial. As already mentioned, a Gospel reading may optionally be added, preceded by vigil canticles, in order to celebrate a vigil. These are given in an appendix of the book of the Liturgy of the Hours.[46]

To those who find it seriously difficult, because of their advanced age or for reasons peculiar to them, to observe the revised Liturgy of the Hours Pope Paul VI gave permission to keep using the previous Roman Breviary either in whole or in part.[40] In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI allowed all clergy of the Latin Church to fulfil their canonical obligations by using the 1961 Roman Breviary issued under Pope John XXIII (but not earlier editions such as that of Pius X or Pius V).[47] Traditionalist Catholic communities, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, avail of this authorization.

Non-Roman Western Rites

In the office of the Church of Jerusalem, of which the pilgrim Ætheria gives us a description, the vigils on Sundays terminated with the solemn reading of the Gospel, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This practice of reading the Gospel has been preserved in the Benedictine liturgy. In the Tridentine Roman Liturgy this custom, so ancient and so solemn, was no longer represented but by the Homily;[25] but after the Second Vatican Council it has been restored for the celebration of vigils.[48]

The Ambrosian Liturgy, better perhaps than any other, preserved traces of the great vigils or pannychides, with their complex and varied display of processions, psalmodies, etc. The same liturgy also preserved vigils of long psalmody. This nocturnal office adapted itself at a later period to a more modern form, approaching more and more closely to the Roman liturgy. Here too were found the three nocturns, with Antiphon, psalms, lessons, and responses, the ordinary elements of the Roman matins, and with a few special features quite Ambrosian.[25]

As revised after the Second Vatican Council, the Ambrosian liturgy of the hours uses for what once called matins either the designation "the part of matins that precedes lLauds in the strict sense" or simply "office of readings".[49] Its structure is similar to that of the Roman Liturgy of the Hours, with variations such as having on Sundays three canticles, on Saturdays a canticle and two psalms, in place of the three psalms of the other days in the Ambrosian Rite and of every day in the Roman Rite.[50]

In the Mozarabic liturgy, on the contrary, Matins is a system of antiphons, collects, and versicles which make them quite a departure from the Roman system.[25]

Eastern Christianity

Armenian Rite

In the Armenian liturgy of the hours, Matins is known as the Midnight Office (Armenian: ի մեջ գիշերի ""i mej gisheri""). The Armenian Book of Hours, or Zhamagirk` (Armenian: Ժամագիրք) states that the Midnight Office is celebrated in commemoration of God the Father.

Much of the service consists of the kanon (Armenian: Կանոնագլուխ ""kanonagloukh""), consisting of a sequence of psalms, hymns, prayers, and in some instances readings from the Gospels, varying according to tone of the day, feast, or liturgical season. The Armenian kanon is quite different in form from the canon of the Byzantine matins service, though both likely share a common ancestor in the pre-dawn worship of the Jerusalem liturgy.

Basic Outline of Matins in the Armenian Church

Introduction (common to all liturgical hours): "Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our father...Amen."

Fixed Preface

“Lord, if you open my lips, my mouth shall declare your praise.” (twice)

Acclamation: “Blessed is the consubstantial and unitary Holy Trinity...Amen.

Psalms: 3, 88, 102, 142

“Glory to the and always...Amen”

Hymn of the Night Liturgy by Nerses Shnorhali: “Let us remember your name in the night, Lord...”

Proclamation by John Mandakuni “Having all been awakened in the night from the repose of sleep...”

“Lord, have mercy” (variable number of times: thrice for Sundays and feasts of Christ, 50 times for the feasts of saints, 100 times on days of fasting)

Hymn of Nerses Shnorhali: “All the world... (Ashkharh amenayn)”

“Lord, have mercy” (thrice). “Through the intercession of the Birthgiver of God: Remember, Lord, and have mercy.”

Hymn of Nerses Shnorhali: “The rising of the sun... (Aṛawowt lowsoy)”

Prayer: “We thank you...”

Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Alleluia, alleluia.

At this point a section of the Psalter is read, followed by a canticle from the Old or New Testament. See Armenian Liturgy. Following the Psalms and the Canticle is the Canon, a complex sequence of psalms, hymns, and prayers which varies in part according to the liturgical calendar.

Conclusion: "Our father...Amen."

The Armenian Matins or Midnight Office bears some resemblance with the Midnight Office of the Byzantine Rite, such as the recitation of a movable set of hymns depending on the feast. However, the Armenian Midnight Office is generally more elaborate than the Byzantine Midnight Office, in that the Armenian counterpart includes readings from the Gospel, as well as cycles of psalms and prayers reflecting the liturgical season or feast. Other material in the Byzantine office of Matins which has a counterpart in the Armenian daily office, such as the recitation of large sections of the Psalter and the recitation of biblical canticles, occurs in the Armenian liturgy at the Sunrise Hour which follows Matins, corresponding to Lauds.

Byzantine Rite

In the Eastern Churches, matins is called orthros in Greek (ὄρθρος, meaning "early dawn" or "daybreak") and Oútrenya in Slavonic (Оўтреня). It is the last of the four night offices, which also include vespers, compline, and midnight office. In traditional monasteries it is celebrated daily so as to end at sunrise. In parishes it is normally served only on Sundays and feast days.

Matins is the longest and most complex of the daily cycle of services. The akolouth (fixed portion of the service) is composed primarily of psalms and litanies. The sequences (variable parts) of matins are composed primarily of hymns and canons from the Octoechos (an eight-tone cycle of hymns for each day of the week, covering eight weeks), and from the Menaion (hymns for each calendar day of the year).

Matins opens with what is called the "Royal Beginning", so called because the psalms (19 and 20) are attributed to King David and speak of the Messiah, the "king of kings"; in former times, the ektenia (litany) also mentioned the emperor by name. The Sunday orthros is the longest of the regular orthros services. If celebrated in its entirety it can last up to three hours.

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "Matins"
  2. ^ Mark 6:48; Matthew 14:5
  3. ^ Psalm 90:4
  4. ^ Regula S.P.N. Benedicti
  5. ^ St Benedict's Rule for Monasteries; cf. another translation; Paul Delatte, Rule of St. Benedict: A Commentary (Ravenio Books 2014)
  6. ^ Benedictine Monks of Buckfast Abbey, "Divine Office: Matins — Prayer at Night", Homiletic and Pastoral Review, pp.361-367, Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., New York, NY, January 1925
  7. ^ Tertullian, Ad uxorem, II,4; Latin text
  8. ^ Cyprian, De oratione dominica, 36 (near end); Latin text
  9. ^ Robert F. Taft, The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West: The Origins of the Divine Office and Its Meaning for Today (Liturgical Press 1986), pp. 25–26
  10. ^ Pliny, Letters 10.96-97
  11. ^ Matthew 25:6
  12. ^ Mark 13:35
  13. ^ Taft (1986), p. 35
  14. ^ Luke 12:35–37
  15. ^ Taft (1986), p. 15
  16. ^ Lallou, William J. "Introduction to the Roman Breviary", Roman Breviary In English, Benziger Brothers, Inc, 1950
  17. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 8
  18. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 10
  19. ^ Lewis and Short, Latin Dictionary
  20. ^ "Offer up your prayers in the morning, at the third hour, the sixth, the ninth, the evening, and at cock-crowing" (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, VIII, iv, 34)
  21. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 8
  22. ^ Delatte, Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict (Wipf and Stock 1922), p. 141
  23. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 8
  24. ^ Paul Delatte, Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict (Wipf and Stock 1922), p. 157
  25. ^ a b c d Fernand Cabrol, "Matins" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 10 (New York 1911);  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCabrol, Fernand (1911). "Matins" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 10. New York: Robert Appleton.
  26. ^ Psalm 119:62
  27. ^ Psalm 119:164
  28. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 16
  29. ^ Oxford English Dictionaries
  30. ^ Merriam-Webster
  31. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 43
  32. ^ Rule of St Benedict, 9–10
  33. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 10
  34. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, 11
  35. ^ John Henry Newman, On the Roman Breviary as embodying the substance of the devotional services of the Church Catholic (Tracts for the Times, 75), p. 19
  36. ^ Rubricae Generales Breviarii, I,5; II,4
  37. ^ Rubricae Generales Breviarii, III,4; V,3; VI,4
  38. ^ Breviarium Romanum (Dessain 1861), as an example of a volume of the Roman Breviary
  39. ^ a b List of psalms in the Pius V and the Pius X matins
  40. ^ a b c Apostolic Constitution Laudis Canticum
  41. ^ 1960 Code of Rubrics, 161−163
  42. ^ Laudis canticum, criteria 3−7
  43. ^ Laudis canticum, criterion 2
  44. ^ 1960 Code of Rubrics, 28
  45. ^ David I. Fulton, Mary DeTurris Poust, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism: The Core Teachings of Catholicism in Plain English (Penguin 2008)
  46. ^ Liturgia Horarum iuxta ritum Romanum, editio typica altera, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000
  47. ^ Summorum Pontificum, art. 9 §3
  48. ^ The General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, 73
  49. ^ Ambrosian liturgy of the hours in latin: Introduction
  50. ^ Ambrosian Liturgy of the Hours in latin: chapter II, IV. De Officio Lectionis

External links

17th César Awards

The 17th César Awards ceremony, presented by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, honoured the best French films of 1991 and took place on 22 February 1992 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. The ceremony was chaired by Michèle Morgan and hosted by Frédéric Mitterrand. Tous les matins du monde won the award for Best Film.

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.

Bruges Matins (football)

The Bruges Matins (Dutch: Brugse Metten, French: Matines Brugeoises) is a yearly friendly tournament organised by the Belgian football club Club Brugge KV.

The name of the tournament refers to the nocturnal massacre in Bruges in 1302, which is called the Bruges Matins. The tournament was first organised in 1976 as a four-team competition. However, since 1991, with the exception of 1992, it was reduced to just a one-match tournament between Club Brugge and another team. Normally, teams from abroad are invited, but sometimes other Belgian teams take part. On two occasions, a national team was present, namely Senegal in 1985 and Morocco in 1987.

The winner of the tournament wins a trophy called Goedendag, which is an alternative name of the medieval club-like weapon more commonly known under the name Morning star. As a result, the tournament is sometimes also called "The Goedendag Trophy".

Byzantine Rite

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

The Byzantine Rite was originally developed and used in Greek language and later, with introduction of Eastern Orthodoxy to other ethnic groups it was translated into local languages and continued further development. Historically, most important non-Greek variants of Byzantine Rite are: Byzantine-Slavonic and Byzantine-Georgian. The rite consists of the divine liturgies, canonical hours, forms for the administration of sacred mysteries (sacraments) and the numerous prayers, blessings and exorcisms developed by the Church of Constantinople.

Also involved are the specifics of church architecture, icons, liturgical music, vestments and traditions which have evolved over the centuries in the Eastern Orthodox Church and which are associated with this rite. Traditionally, the congregation stands throughout the whole service, and an iconostasis separates the sanctuary from the nave of the church. The faithful are very active in their worship, making frequent bows and prostrations, and feeling free to move about the temple (church) during the services. Also, traditionally, the major clergy and monks neither shave nor cut their hair or beards.

Scripture plays a large role in Byzantine worship, with not only daily readings but also many quotes from the Bible throughout the services. The entire psalter is read each week, and twice weekly during Great Lent. Fasting is stricter than in the Roman Rite. On fast days, the faithful give up not only meat, but also dairy products, and on many fast days they also give up fish, wine and the use of oil in cooking. The rite observes four fasting seasons: Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast. In addition, most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year are fast days and many monasteries also observe Monday as a fast day.


CHRF (980 kHz) is a French-language commercial AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec. Owned by Evanov Radio Group, the station broadcasts an adult standards radio format, along with some multicultural programming. CHRF's studios are located on Papineau Avenue in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough of Montreal, while its transmitter is located near Mercier.

Canonical hours

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.The two major practices were synthesized, commencing in the 8th century, to yield an office of great complexity.The Cluniac Reforms of the 11th century renewed an emphasis on liturgy and the canonical hours in the reformed priories of the Order of Saint Benedict, with Cluny Abbey at their head.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.


A dirge is a somber song or lament expressing mourning or grief, such as would be appropriate for performance at a funeral. The English word dirge is derived from the Latin Dirige, Domine, Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam ("Direct my way in your sight, O Lord my God"), the first words of the first antiphon in the Matins of the Office for the Dead, created on basis of Psalms 5:8 (5:9 in Vulgate). The original meaning of dirge in English referred to this office.

A Christian funeral lament from the Cleveland area of north-east Yorkshire is known as the Lyke Wake Dirge. It’s associated with the Lyke Wake Walk, a 40-mile challenge walk across the moorlands of north-east Yorkshire, as the members' anthem of the Lyke Wake Club, a society whose members are those who have completed the walk within 24 hours.

Eastern Orthodox worship

Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that 'worship' refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while 'prayer' refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.

The worship of the Orthodox Church is viewed as the Church's fundamental activity because the worship of God is the joining of man to God in prayer and that is the essential function of Christ's Church. The Orthodox view their Church as being the living embodiment of Christ, through the grace of His Holy Spirit, in the people, clergy, monks and all other members of the Church. Thus the Church is viewed as the Body of Christ on earth which is perpetually unified with the Body of Christ in heaven through a common act of worship to God.

This article will deal first with the various characteristics of Orthodox worship, aside from its theological foundations as laid forth above, and will then continue to give the services of worship themselves and their structure.

Epitaphios (liturgical)

The Epitaphios (Greek: Ἐπιτάφιος, epitáphios, or Ἐπιτάφιον, epitáphion; Slavonic: Плащаница, plashchanitsa; Arabic: نعش, naash) is a Christian religious icon, typically consisting of a large, embroidered and often richly adorned cloth, bearing an image of the dead body of Christ, often accompanied by his mother and other figures, following the Gospel account. It is used during the liturgical services of Good Friday and Holy Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as those Eastern Catholic Churches, which follow the Byzantine Rite. It also exists in painted or mosaic form, on wall or panel.

The Epitaphios is also a common short form of the Epitáphios Thrēnos, the "Lamentation upon the Grave" in Greek, which is the main part of the service of the Matins of Holy Saturday, served in Good Friday evening.

Armenian Orthodox have also the tradition of the epitaphios. Their celebration on this day is called T'aghman Kark (Rite of the Burial).

Girl on the Road

Girl on the Road or Hitch-Hike (French: Les petits matins) is a 1962 French comedy film directed by Jacqueline Audry and starring Darry Cowl, Pierre Mondy and Lino Ventura.

Good Friday

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday.Members of many Christian denominations, including the Anglican, Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Oriental Orthodox, and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services.The date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a widely instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U.S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday (Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum), the Saturday of Holy Week, also known as Holy and Great Saturday, the Great Sabbath, Black Saturday, Joyous Saturday, Hallelujah Saturday (in Portugal) or Easter Eve, and called "Joyous Saturday" or "the Saturday of Light" among Coptic Christians, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell.

Holy Week

Holy Week (Latin: Hebdomas Sancta or Hebdomas Maior, "Greater Week"; Greek: Ἁγία καὶ Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς, Hagia kai Megale Hebdomas, "Holy and Great Week") in Christianity is the week just before Easter. It is also the last week of Lent, in the West, – Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday (Holy Friday), and Holy Saturday – are all included. However, Easter Day, which begins the season of Eastertide, is not. However, traditions observing the Easter Triduum may overlap or displace part of Holy Week or Easter itself within that additional liturgical period.

Holy Week and Easter Day liturgies attract the biggest crowds of the year. Many cultures have different traditions like Easter eggs, floats, sculptures of Christ's life, arrest and burial and contributing to the Great Feasts, to echo the theme of resurrection.

Libera me

Líbera me ("Deliver me") is a Roman Catholic responsory that is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. The text of Libera me asks God to have mercy upon the deceased person at the Last Judgment. In addition to the Gregorian chant in the Roman Gradual, many composers have written settings for the text, including Tomás Luis de Victoria, Anton Bruckner (two settings), Giuseppe Verdi, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki, Antonio Salieri, Lorenzo Perosi.

Libera me is begun by a cantor, who sings the versicles alone, and the responses are sung by the choir. The text is written in the first person singular, "Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that fearful day," a dramatic substitution in which the choir speaks for the dead person.

In the traditional Office, Libera me is also said on All Souls' Day (2 November) and whenever all three nocturns of Matins of the Dead are recited. On other occasions, the ninth responsory of Matins for the Dead begins with Libera me, but continues with a different text (Domine, de viis inferni, etc).

Matins Gospel

The Matins Gospel is the solemn chanting of a lection from one of the Four Gospels during Matins in the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.

The reading of the Gospel is the highpoint of the service, and takes place near the end of the festive portion of the service known as the Polyeleos. During the Divine Liturgy the Gospel is usually read by the deacon, but the Matins Gospel is read by the priest. However, if the bishop is present, he will usually be the one who reads the Matins Gospel.

Matins in Lutheranism

In the Lutheran Church, Matins is a morning-time liturgical order combining features that were found in the Medieval orders of Matins, Lauds, and Prime. Lutherans in general retained the Order of Matins for use in schools and in larger city parishes throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. The orders experienced a revival in the Confessional Renewal that took place in the 19th century, and now have a stable place in modern Lutheran liturgical books.

Matins of Bruges

The Matins of Bruges (Flemish: Brugse Metten) was the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges on 18 May 1302 by the members of the local Flemish militia. It has been named "Matins" (after a monastic liturgy) in analogy to the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. The revolt led to the Battle of the Golden Spurs, which saw the Flemish militia defeat French troops on 11 July 1302.


Tenebrae (—Latin for "darkness") is a religious service of Western Christianity held during the three days preceding Easter, and characterized by gradual extinguishing of candles, and by a "strepitus" or "loud noise" taking place in total darkness near the end of the service.

Tenebrae originally was a celebration of matins and lauds of the last three days of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) in the evening of the previous day (Spy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday) to the accompaniment of special ceremonies that included the display of lighted candles on a special triangular candelabra.Today, celebrations of Tenebrae usually are adaptations that include holding, only once during the three days, especially on Spy Wednesday (Holy Wednesday), a service other than matins and lauds, such as the Seven Last Words or readings of the Passion of Jesus, and varying the number of candles, or holding it in concert form with extracts from the original form of Tenebrae.

Tenebrae liturgical celebrations of this kind now exist in the Latin Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, Anglican Churches, Methodist Churches, Reformed Churches and Western Rite Orthodoxy.

Tous les Matins du Monde

Tous les matins du monde (English translation: All the Mornings of the World) is a 1991 French film based on the book of the same name by Pascal Quignard. Set during the reign of Louis XIV, the film shows the eminent musician, Marin Marais, looking back on his young life when he was briefly a pupil of Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, and features much music of the period, especially that for the viola da gamba. The title of the film is explained towards the end of the film; « Tous les matins du monde sont sans retour » ("all the mornings of the world never return") spoken by Marais in chapter XXVI of Quignard's novel when he learns of the death of Madeleine.

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