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Prime (liturgy)

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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 suppressed within the Latin liturgical rites by the Second Vatican Council.[1] In the Coptic Church, a denomination of Oriental Orthodox Christianity, the office of Prime is prayed at 6 am in eastward direction of prayer by all members in this denomination, both clergy and laity, being one of the seven fixed prayer times.[2] Latin Catholic 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,[3] 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.

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Canonical hours

Canonical hours

In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of fixed times of prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours, chiefly a breviary, normally contains a version of, or selection from, such prayers.

Liturgy of the Hours

Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office or Opus Dei are a set of Catholic prayers comprising the canonical hours, often also referred to as the breviary, of the Latin Church. The Liturgy of the Hours forms the official set of prayers "marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer." The term "Liturgy of the Hours" has been retroactively applied to the practices of saying the canonical hours in both the Christian East and West–particularly within the Latin liturgical rites–prior to the Second Vatican Council, and is the official term for the canonical hours promulgated for usage by the Latin Church in 1971. Before 1971, the official form for the Latin Church was the Breviarium Romanum, first published in 1568 with major editions through 1962.

Lauds

Lauds

Lauds is a canonical hour of the Divine office. In the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours it is one of the major hours, usually held after Matins, in the early morning hours.

Christian liturgy

Christian liturgy

Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination on a regular basis. The term liturgy comes from Greek and means "public work". Within Christianity, liturgies descending from the same region, denomination, or culture are described as ritual families.

Eastern Christianity

Eastern Christianity

Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Northeast Africa, the Fertile Crescent and the Malabar coast of South Asia, and ephemerally parts of Persia, Central Asia, the Near East and the Far East. The term does not describe a single communion or religious denomination.

Latin liturgical rites

Latin liturgical rites

Latin liturgical rites, or Western liturgical rites, is a large family of liturgical rites and uses of public worship employed by the Latin Church, the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, that originated in Europe where the Latin language once dominated. Its language is now known as Ecclesiastical Latin. The most used rite is the Roman Rite.

Second Vatican Council

Second Vatican Council

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was the 21st ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. The council met in Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City for four periods, each lasting between 8 and 12 weeks, in the autumn of each of the four years 1962 to 1965. Preparation for the council took three years, from the summer of 1959 to the autumn of 1962. The council was opened on 11 October 1962 by John XXIII, and was closed on 8 December 1965 by Paul VI.

Direction of prayer

Direction of prayer

Prayer in a certain direction is characteristic of many world religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baháʼí Faith.

Roman Breviary

Roman Breviary

The Roman Breviary is a breviary of the Roman Rite in the Catholic Church. A liturgical book, it contains public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office.

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 until his death in June 1963. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was one of thirteen children born to Marianna Mazzola and Giovanni Battista Roncalli in a family of sharecroppers who lived in Sotto il Monte, a village in the province of Bergamo, Lombardy. He was ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, as nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca in addition to naming him as the Patriarch of Venice. Roncalli was unexpectedly elected pope on 28 October 1958 at age 76 after 11 ballots. Pope John XXIII surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the first session opening on 11 October 1962.

Psalms

Psalms

The Book of Psalms, also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the Ketuvim ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music". The book is an anthology of individual Hebrew religious hymns, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition and more in the Eastern Christian churches. Many are linked to the name of David, but modern mainstream scholarship rejects his authorship, instead attributing the composition of the psalms to various authors writing between the 9th and 5th centuries BC. In the Quran, the Arabic word ‘Zabur’ is used for the Psalms of David in the Hebrew Bible.

Little Hours

Little Hours

In Christianity, the Little Hours or minor hours are the canonical hours other than the three major hours.

Name

From the time of the early Church, the practice of seven fixed prayer times have been taught; in Apostolic Tradition, Hippolytus instructed Christians to pray seven times a day "on rising, at the lighting of the evening lamp, at bedtime, at midnight" and "the third, sixth and ninth hours of the day, being hours associated with Christ's Passion."[4][5][6][7] With respect to praying in the early morning, Hippolytus wrote: "Likewise, at the hour of the cock-crow, rise and pray. Because at this hour, with the cock-crow, the children of Israel refused Christ, who we know through faith, hoping daily in the hope of eternal light in the resurrection of the dead."[8]

The word "Prime" comes from Latin and refers to the first hour of daylight (that which begins at sunrise). John Cassian (c. 360 – c. 435) describes it as matutina (hora),[9] ("a" or "the") "morning hour" (translated also as "Mattins"),[10] a description applied also, according to Alardus Gazaeus even by Cassian,[11] to the dawn hour of Lauds.[12] Benedict of Nursia (c. 480 − c. 547) refers to Prime by using the term "primae tempore" ("the time of First Hour") for Prime and uses matutino tempore ("morning time") to speak of Lauds, reckoning Lauds as the first of the seven daytime offices, which he associates with Psalm 118/119:164, "Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules",[13] and which he distinguishes from the one nocturnal office of Night Watch, which he links with Psalm 118/119:62, "At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules",[14][15][16]

In the Antiphonary of Bangor (perhaps c. 700) what is generally called prima (hora) is called secunda.[17] F.E. Warren states: "'Secunda' as the equivalent of 'Prima', the usual title of the first of the Day-Hours is a very ancient title, but has now gone out of use. It is found in the Missale Gallicanum (p. 179), also in C.C.C.C. MS.272, a ninth century Rheims Psalter".[18]

In the Eastern liturgies, the names for this office in the various languages mean "first (hour)".

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Fixed prayer times

Fixed prayer times

Fixed prayer times, praying at dedicated times during the day, are common practice in major world religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Apostolic Tradition

Apostolic Tradition

The Apostolic Tradition is an early Christian treatise which belongs to the genre of the ancient Church Orders. It has been described to be of "incomparable importance as a source of information about church life and liturgy in the third century".

Hippolytus of Rome

Hippolytus of Rome

Hippolytus of Rome was one of the most important second-third century Christian theologians, whose provenance, identity and corpus remain elusive to scholars and historians. Suggested communities include Rome, Palestine, Egypt, Anatolia and other regions of the Middle East. The best historians of literature in the ancient church, including Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome, openly confess they cannot name where Hippolytus the biblical commentator and theologian served in leadership. They had read his works but did not possess evidence of his community. Photios I of Constantinople describes him in his Bibliotheca as a disciple of Irenaeus, who was said to be a disciple of Polycarp, and from the context of this passage it is supposed that he suggested that Hippolytus so styled himself. This assertion is doubtful. One older theory asserts he came into conflict with the popes of his time and seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival to the bishop of Rome, thus becoming an antipope. In this view, he opposed the Roman Popes who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts. However, he was reconciled to the Church before he died as a martyr.

John Cassian

John Cassian

John Cassian, also known as John the Ascetic and John Cassian the Roman, was a Christian monk and theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern churches for his mystical writings. Cassian is noted for his role in bringing the ideas and practices of early Christian monasticism to the medieval West.

Benedict of Nursia

Benedict of Nursia

Benedict of Nursia was an Italian Christian monk, writer, and theologian who is venerated in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion, and Old Catholic Churches. He is a patron saint of Europe.

Psalm 119

Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is the 119th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in the English of the King James Version: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord". The Book of Psalms is in the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Khetuvim, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. The psalm, which is anonymous, is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, "Ashrei temimei derech". In Latin, it is known as "Beati inmaculati in via qui ambulant in lege Domini".

Vigil (liturgy)

Vigil (liturgy)

In Christian liturgy, a vigil is, in origin, a religious service held during the night leading to a Sunday or other feastday. The Latin term vigilia, from which the word is derived meant a watch night, not necessarily in a military context, and generally reckoned as a fourth part of the night from sunset to sunrise. The four watches or vigils were of varying length in line with the seasonal variation of the length of the night.

Antiphonary of Bangor

Antiphonary of Bangor

The Antiphonary of Bangor is an ancient Latin manuscript, supposed to have been originally written at Bangor Abbey in modern-day Northern Ireland.

Origin

John Cassian states that this canonical hour originated in his own time and in his own monastery in Bethlehem, where he lived as a novice: "hanc matitutinam canonicam functionem nostro tempore in nostro quoque monasterio primitus institutam." ("was appointed as a canonical office in our own day, and also in our own monastery, where our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin and deigned to submit to growth in infancy as man, and where by His Grace He supported our own infancy, still tender in religion, and, as it were, fed with milk").[10] Jules Pargoire concluded that the institution of Prime must be placed towards 382.[19] Fernand Cabrol identified the monastery in question as "not St. Jerome's monastery at Bethlehem, but another, perhaps one established beyond the Tower of Ader (or of the Flock) beyond the village of the Shepherds, and consequently beyond the modern Beth-saour; it has been identified either with Deïr-er-Raouat (convent of the shepherds) or with Seiar-er-Ganhem (enclosure of the sheep)".[12]

Cassian says this office was instituted because a period of rest was allowed after the nocturnal office and the office said shortly after it, but some monks abused this time of rest by staying in their cells and their beds right up to the time for Terce, and it was therefore decided to have a sunrise office that, moreover, brought the daylight offices to seven in line with Psalm 118/119:164,[10] quoted above in connection with the Rule of Saint Benedict.

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John Cassian

John Cassian

John Cassian, also known as John the Ascetic and John Cassian the Roman, was a Christian monk and theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern churches for his mystical writings. Cassian is noted for his role in bringing the ideas and practices of early Christian monasticism to the medieval West.

Bethlehem

Bethlehem

Bethlehem is a city in the West Bank, Palestine, located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of Jerusalem. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate, and has a population of approximately 25,000 people. The city's economy is largely tourist-driven; international tourism peaks around and during Christmas, when Christians embark on a pilgrimage to the Church of the Nativity, revered as the location of the Nativity of Jesus. At the northern entrance of the city is Rachel's Tomb, the burial place of biblical matriarch Rachel. Movement around the city is limited due to the Israeli West Bank barrier.

Monastery

Monastery

A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary, and outlying granges. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school, and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery.

Jerome

Jerome

Jerome, also known as Jerome of Stridon, was a Christian priest, confessor, theologian, and historian; he is commonly known as Saint Jerome.

Vigil (liturgy)

Vigil (liturgy)

In Christian liturgy, a vigil is, in origin, a religious service held during the night leading to a Sunday or other feastday. The Latin term vigilia, from which the word is derived meant a watch night, not necessarily in a military context, and generally reckoned as a fourth part of the night from sunset to sunrise. The four watches or vigils were of varying length in line with the seasonal variation of the length of the night.

Terce

Terce

Terce is a canonical hour of the Divine Office. It consists mainly of psalms and is held around 9 a.m. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the third hour of the day after dawn. With Prime, Sext, None and Compline it belongs to the so-called "Little hours".

Psalm 119

Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is the 119th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in the English of the King James Version: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord". The Book of Psalms is in the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Khetuvim, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. The psalm, which is anonymous, is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, "Ashrei temimei derech". In Latin, it is known as "Beati inmaculati in via qui ambulant in lege Domini".

Western Church

Fernand Cabrol says that Prime originally used only to contain a repetition of the Lauds Psalms 1, 57 (58), and 89 (90), but the monasteries that gradually adopted the new office changed its constitution as they liked. In spite of the many variations, one characteristic feature is the recitation of the Athanasian Creed. Saint Benedict assigns to Prime on Sundays four groups of eight verses of Ps. 118 (119), and on week-days three psalms, beginning with the first and continuing to Ps. 19 (20), taking three psalms each day (Pss. 9 (10) and 17 (18) being divided into two). This makes Prime like the other Little Hours of the day, which it resembles these in accompanying the psalms with a hymn, an antiphon, capitulum, versicle, and prayer. The Roman Breviary as decreed by Pope Pius V in 1568 in line with the decrees of the Council of Trent, assigns to Prime on Sunday of Pss. 53 (54), 117 (118) and the first four groups of eight verses of Ps. 118 (119); on each of the weekdays it assigns the same psalms as on Sunday except that it replaces Psalm 117 (118) with one of the Psalms from 21 (22) through 25 (26), which had previously all been at Sunday Prime. Each day therefore had in Prime two full psalms and the same two portions of Psalm 118 (119). The late 1911 reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X changed the psalmody radically, dividing several psalms into shorter portions. To Prime it assigned each day three psalms or portions of psalms, each day different.[20]

To these elements, which make Prime similar to the other Little Hours, Prime adds some prayers that are called the office of the chapter: the reading of the martyrology, the prayer Sancta Maria et omnes sancti ("May holy Mary and all the Saints"), a prayer concerning work, Respice in servos tuos … Dirigere et sanctificare ("Look upon thy servants … Direct and sanctify"), and a blessing. The fact that the monastic communities originally after Prime betook themselves to manual work or study is reflected in the prayer for the work … et opera manuum nostrarum dirige super nos et opus manuum nostrarum dirige ("… and direct thou the works of our hands over us; yea, the work of our hands do thou direct"), and the prayer Dirigere. Later the reading of the martyrology, the necrology, the rule, and a prayer for the dead were added.[12]

The Church of England's Book of Common Prayer dropped Prime with its first 1549 edition. A proposed 1928 version that Parliament rejected would have restored Prime, with the instruction that it be used in addition to (not instead of) Matins, and with optional reciting of the Athanasian Creed.

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Athanasian Creed

Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed — also called the Pseudo-Athanasian Creed or Quicunque Vult, which is both its Latin name and its opening words, meaning "Whosoever wishes" — is a Christian statement of belief focused on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. Used by Christian churches since the early sixth century, it was the first creed to explicitly state the equality of the three hypostases of the Trinity. It differs from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Apostles' Creed in that it includes anathemas condemning those who disagree with its statements.

Hymn

Hymn

A hymn is a type of song, and partially synonymous with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means "a song of praise". A writer of hymns is known as a hymnist. The singing or composition of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books. Hymns may or may not include instrumental accompaniment.

Antiphon

Antiphon

An antiphon is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used widely in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used during Mass, for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion. They may also be used in the Liturgy of the Hours, typically for Lauds or Vespers.

Roman Breviary

Roman Breviary

The Roman Breviary is a breviary of the Roman Rite in the Catholic Church. A liturgical book, it contains public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office.

Pope Pius V

Pope Pius V

Pope Pius V, born Antonio Ghislieri, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 January 1566 to his death in May 1572. He is venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman Rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

Council of Trent

Council of Trent

The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, now in northern Italy, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X

Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X

The reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X was promulgated by that Pope with the apostolic constitution Divino afflatu of 1 November 1911.

Martyrology

Martyrology

A martyrology is a catalogue or list of martyrs and other saints and beati arranged in the calendar order of their anniversaries or feasts. Local martyrologies record exclusively the custom of a particular Church. Local lists were enriched by names borrowed from neighbouring churches. Consolidation occurred, by the combination of several local martyrologies, with or without borrowings from literary sources.

Church of England

Church of England

The Church of England is the established Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the 3rd century and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury. Its adherents are called Anglicans.

Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The first prayer book, published in 1549 in the reign of King Edward VI of England, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, "prayers to be said with the sick", and a funeral service. It also set out in full the "propers" : the introits, collects, and epistle and gospel readings for the Sunday service of Holy Communion. Old Testament and New Testament readings for daily prayer were specified in tabular format as were the Psalms and canticles, mostly biblical, that were provided to be said or sung between the readings.

Book of Common Prayer (1549)

Book of Common Prayer (1549)

The 1549 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the original version of the Book of Common Prayer, variations of which are still in use as the official liturgical book of the Church of England and other Anglican churches. Written during the English Reformation, the prayer book was largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, who borrowed from a large number of other sources. Evidence of Cranmer's Protestant theology can be seen throughout the book; however, the services maintain the traditional forms and sacramental language inherited from medieval Catholic liturgies. Criticised by Protestants for being too traditional, it was replaced by the significantly revised 1552 Book of Common Prayer.

Book of Common Prayer (1928)

Book of Common Prayer (1928)

The Book of Common Prayer of 1928 was a proposed revised version of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England.

Eastern Christianity

Byzantine Rite

In the Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches the office of the First Hour is normally read by a single Reader and has very little variation in it. Three fixed psalms are read at the First Hour: Psalms 5, 89, and 100 (LXX). The only variable portions for most of the year are the Troparia (either one or two) and Kontakion of the Day. Whereas the other Little Hours are normally followed by other services, the First Hour is normally read immediately after Matins and so it is concluded with a dismissal by the priest. In the Russian usage, the dismissal is followed by a hymn to the Theotokos (the Kontakion of the Annunciation, Tone 8):

"To thee, the champion leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving, as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos; but as thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride Unwedded!"

Variations

During Great Lent a number of changes in the office take place. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, after the three fixed psalms, the Reader says a kathisma from the Psalter. The Troparion of the Day is replaced by special Lenten hymns that are chanted with prostrations. Then the psalm verses that follow the Theotokion, which are normally read, are instead sung by the choir. The Kontakion is also replaced by special Lenten hymns which are sung. Near the end of the Hour, the Prayer of St. Ephraim is said, with prostrations.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the Fourth Week of Great Lent, the Veneration of the Cross takes place at the First Hour.

During the Fifth Week of Great Lent, there is a kathisma only on Tuesday and Wednesday, due to the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete on Thursday morning. If, however, the Great Feast of the Annunciation falls on that particular Thursday, the reading of the Great Canon will be moved to Tuesday and, as a result, a kathisma will be read on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

During Holy Week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the services are similar to those during Great Lent except there is no reading of Kathismata, and instead of the normal Lenten hymns which replace the Kontakion, the Kontakion of the day (i.e., that day of Holy Week) is chanted. On Great Thursday and Saturday, the Little Hours are more like normal, except that a Troparion of the Prophecy, prokeimena, and a reading from Jeremiah are chanted at the First Hour on Great Thursday. On Great Friday, the Royal Hours are chanted.

During the Lesser Lenten seasons (Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast) the Little Hours undergo changes similar to those during Great Lent, except the hymns are usually read instead of chanted, and there are no kathismata on weekdays. In addition, on weekdays of the Lesser Fasts, the Inter-Hour (Greek: Mesorion) may be read immediately after the First Hour (at least on the first day of the Fast).[21] The Inter-Hours follow the same general outline as the Little Hours, except they are shorter. When the Inter-Hour follows the First Hour, the dismissal is said at the end of the Inter-Hour rather than at the end of the First Hour.

When the Royal Hours are chanted (the Eve of Nativity, the Eve of Theophany and Great Friday), the First Hour is not joined to Matins as normal, but it becomes the first office in an aggregated office composed of the First, Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours and the Typica. This is the most elaborate form of the First Hour. Both the priest and deacon are vested and serve, and the Gospel Book is set on an analogion (lectern) in the center of the temple (church building). At the beginning of the First Hour, the deacon performs a full censing of the church, clergy and faithful. Two of the three fixed psalms (89 and 100) are replaced by others that are appropriate to the particular feast day being celebrated. A number of hymns (stichera) are sung in place of the Troparion of the Day. Then a prokeimenon, the reading of a relevant Old Testament prophecy, an Epistle and a Gospel are chanted. The Kontakion of the Day is chanted by the choir, instead of being read. Since at the Royal Hours other services immediately follow the First Hour, there is no dismissal.

Oriental Orthodox

The various Oriental Orthodox and Oriental Catholic Rites vary in the particulars of the First Hour, but in general tend to have a larger number of psalms in them. In some Rites it is the practice to recite the entire Psalter once a day (as opposed to once a week, as in the Western and Constantinopolitan Rites).

Armenian Liturgy

In the Armenian Liturgy, the office following the Morning Hour is called the Sunrise Hour (Armenian: Արեւագալ Ժամ arevagal zham). The Armenian Book of Hours (Zhamagirk`) states that this service is dedicated “to the Holy Spirit and to the resurrection of Christ and to [his] appearance to the disciples.”

Outline of the service

Introduction: “Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our father...”

First station: Psalm 72:17-19 “Glory...Now and Ever...Amen.” “Again and again in peace...Accept, save, and have mercy.” “Blessing and glory to the Father...Amen.” Sunrise Hymn attributed to St Nerses: “From the East...(Arewelits`...)” Exhortation: “From the East unto the West, children of Sion...” Proclamation of Sunrise, to follow the hymn and the canon, composed by Giwt: “From the East unto the West in all parts of Christendom...” Prayer: “From the East unto the West you are praised...”

Second station: Psalm 100: “Rejoice in the Lord all the earth...” Hymn: “Ascetics of God...(Chgnawork` Astoutsoy...)” Exhortation: “True ascetics, witnesses of Christ...(Chgnawork` chshmaritk` vkayk` K`ristosi...)” Supplication: “We entreat [you]...(Aghach`emk`...)” Proclamation: “Through the holy ascetics...(Sourb chgnaworawk`n...)” Prayer: “Holy are you, Lord...(Sourb es Tēr...)” “Remember your ministers...” “Beneficent and plenteous in mercy...”

Third station: Psalms 63, 64 “Glory...Now and always...Amen.” Hymn: “Light, creator of light...(Loys ararich` lousoy...)” Exhortation: “Uncreated God...(Aneghanelid Astouats...)” Supplication: “By your light...(Lousovd...)” Proclamation: “And again in peace...Let us glorify...” Prayer: “Accept out morning prayer...(Zarawawtou...)”

Fourth station: Psalms 23, 143:8-12, 46:1-7, 70, 86:16-17 “Glory...Now and always...Amen.” Hymn: “Way and truth...(Chanaparh ew chshmartout`iwn...)” Exhortation: “Christ the good way...(Chanaparh bari K`ristos...)” Supplication: “Lord, make straight our steps...(Tēr, oughghya zgnats`s mer...)” Proclamation: “Let us beseech almighty God...(“Aghach`ests`ouk` zamenakaln Astouats...)” Prayer: “Guide of life...(Arajnord kenats`...)” but during fasts on days when there is no commemoration: Prayer: “Blessed are you, Lord God...(Awrhneal es Tēr Astouats...)”

Conclusion: “Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our father...”

This service remains unchanged throughout the liturgical year, with the exception of the last prayer.

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

In the Coptic Orthodox Church, an Oriental Orthodox denomination, the prayer time of Prime is prayed at 6 am using the Agpeya breviary.[2]

East Syriac

The following are the seven times of prayer in the East Syriac (Edessan and Persian) ritual tradition:

  • Ramsha (ܪܲܡܫܵܐ) or the Evening Liturgy (6 pm)
  • Suba-a (ܣܘܼܒܵܥܵܐ) or the Supper Liturgy (9 pm)
  • Lelya (ܠܸܠܝܵܐ) or the Night Liturgy (12 am)
  • Qala d-Shahra ( ܩܵܠܵܐ ܕܫܲܗܪܵ ) or the Vigil Liturgy (3 am)
  • Sapra (ܨܲܦܪܵܐ) or the Morning Liturgy (6 am)
  • Quta'a (ܩܘܼܛܵܥܵܐ) or the Third Hour Liturgy (9 am)
  • Endana (ܥܸܕܵܢܵܐ) or the Noon Liturgy (12 pm)
  • D-Bathsha Shayin at 3:00 pm.[22]

Discover more about Eastern Christianity related topics

Eastern Orthodox Church

Eastern Orthodox Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops via local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the head of the Catholic Church—the pope—but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognized by them as primus inter pares. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially calls itself the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Eastern Catholic Churches

Eastern Catholic Churches

The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-Rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches, are 23 Eastern Christian autonomous particular churches of the Catholic Church, in full communion with the Pope in Rome. Although they are distinct theologically, liturgically, and historically from the Latin Church, they are all in full communion with it and with each other. Eastern Catholics are a distinct minority within the Catholic Church; of the 1.3 billion Catholics in communion with the Pope, approximately 18 million are members of the eastern churches.

Psalm 5

Psalm 5

Psalm 5 is the fifth psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation". In Latin, it is known as "Verba mea auribus percipe Domine". The psalm is traditionally attributed to David. It is a reflection of how the righteous man prays for deliverance not only for freedom from suffering, but to allow himself to be able to serve God without distraction. The New King James Version entitles it "A Prayer for Guidance".

Psalm 89

Psalm 89

Psalm 89 is the 89th psalm in the biblical Book of Psalms, part of the Hebrew Bible, described as a maschil or "contemplation".

Psalm 100

Psalm 100

Psalm 100 is the 100th psalm in the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible. In English, it is translated as "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands" in the King James Version (KJV), and as "O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands" in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Its Hebrew name is מִזְמוֹר לְתוֹדָה, 'Mizmor l'Todah' and it is subtitled a "Psalm of gratitude confession". In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in the Latin Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 99. In the Vulgate, it begins Jubilate Deo, or Jubilate, which also became the title of the BCP version.

Kontakion

Kontakion

The kontakion is a form of hymn performed in the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic liturgical traditions.

Matins

Matins

Matins is a canonical hour in Christian liturgy, originally sung during the darkness of early morning.

Dismissal (liturgy)

Dismissal (liturgy)

The Dismissal is the final blessing said by a Christian priest or minister at the end of a religious service. In liturgical churches the dismissal will often take the form of ritualized words and gestures, such as raising the minister's hands over the congregation, or blessing with the sign of the cross. The use of a final blessing at the end of a liturgical service may be based upon the Priestly Blessing prescribed for the kohanim in the Torah.

Priest

Priest

A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the 'priesthood', a term which also may apply to such persons collectively. A priest may have the duty to hear confessions periodically, give marriage counseling, provide prenuptial counseling, give spiritual direction, teach catechism, or visit those confined indoors, such as the sick in hospitals and nursing homes.

Octoechos

Octoechos

Oktōēchos is the eight-mode system used for the composition of religious chant in Byzantine, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Latin and Slavic churches since the Middle Ages. In a modified form the octoechos is still regarded as the foundation of the tradition of monodic chant in the Byzantine Rite today.

Great Lent

Great Lent

Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter).

Kathisma

Kathisma

A kathisma, literally, "seat", is a division of the Psalter, used in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic churches. The word may also describe a hymn sung at Matins, a seat used in monastic churches, or a type of monastic establishment.

Source: "Prime (liturgy)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_(liturgy).

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Notes
  1. ^ Sacrosanctum Concilium, Article 89(d)
  2. ^ a b The Agpeya. St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church. pp. 5, 33, 49, 65, 80, 91, 130.
  3. ^ Summorum Pontificum, article 9 §3
  4. ^ Danielou, Jean (2016). Origen. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-4982-9023-4. Peterson quotes a passage from the Acts of Hipparchus and Philotheus: "In Hipparchus's house there was a specially decorated room and a cross was painted on the east wall of it. There before the image of the cross, they used to pray seven times a day ... with their faces turned to the east." It is easy to see the importance of this passage when you compare it with what Origen says. The custom of turning towards the rising sun when praying had been replaced by the habit of turning towards the east wall. This we find in Origen. From the other passage we see that a cross had been painted on the wall to show which was the east. Hence the origin of the practice of hanging crucifixes on the walls of the private rooms in Christian houses. We know too that signs were put up in the Jewish synagogues to show the direction of Jerusalem, because the Jews turned that way when they said their prayers. The question of the proper way to face for prayer has always been of great importance in the East. It is worth remembering that Mohammedans pray with their faces turned towards Mecca and that one reason for the condemnation of Al Hallaj, the Mohammedan martyr, was that he refused to conform to this practice.
  5. ^ Henry Chadwick (1993). The Early Church. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-16042-8. Hippolytus in the Apostolic Tradition directed that Christians should pray seven times a day - on rising, at the lighting of the evening lamp, at bedtime, at midnight, and also, if at home, at the third, sixth and ninth hours of the day, being hours associated with Christ's Passion. Prayers at the third, sixth, and ninth hours are similarly mentioned by Tertullian, Cyprian, Clement of Alexandria and Origen, and must have been very widely practised. These prayers were commonly associated with private Bible reading in the family.
  6. ^ Weitzman, M. P. (7 July 2005). The Syriac Version of the Old Testament. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-01746-6. Clement of Alexandria noted that "some fix hours for prayer, such as the third, sixth and ninth" (Stromata 7:7). Tertullian commends these hours, because of their importance (see below) in the New Testament and because their number recalls the Trinity (De Oratione 25). These hours indeed appear as designated for prayer from the earliest days of the church. Peter prayed at the sixth hour, i.e. at noon (Acts 10:9). The ninth hour is called the "hour of prayer" (Acts 3:1). This was the hour when Cornelius prayed even as a "God-fearer" attached to the Jewish community, i.e. before his conversion to Christianity. it was also the hour of Jesus' final prayer (Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34, Luke 22:44-46).
  7. ^ Lössl, Josef (17 February 2010). The Early Church: History and Memory. A&C Black. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-567-16561-9. Not only the content of early Christian prayer was rooted in Jewish tradition; its daily structure too initially followed a Jewish pattern, with prayer times in the early morning, at noon and in the evening. Later (in the course of the second century), this pattern combined with another one; namely prayer times in the evening, at midnight and in the morning. As a result seven 'hours of prayer' emerged, which later became the monastic 'hours' and are still treated as 'standard' prayer times in many churches today. They are roughly equivalent to midnight, 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Prayer positions included prostration, kneeling and standing. ... Crosses made of wood or stone, or painted on walls or laid out as mosaics, were also in use, at first not directly as objections of veneration but in order to 'orientate' the direction of prayer (i.e. towards the east, Latin oriens).
  8. ^ Hippolytus. "Apostolic Tradition" (PDF). St. John's Episcopal Church. p. 16. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ De Coenobiorum Institutis (Institutes) in Patrologia Latina (Migne) vol. 49, col. 126A
  10. ^ a b c John Cassian, The Twelve Books on the Institutes of the Coenobia and the Remedies for the Eight Principal Faults book 3, chapter 4
  11. ^ Patrologia Latina (Migne) vol. 49, coll. 127C−128B]
  12. ^ a b c Fernand Cabrol, "Prime" in The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1911)
  13. ^ Psalm 119:164
  14. ^ Psalm 119:62
  15. ^ Regula S.P.N. Benedicti, caput 6
  16. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, chapter 16
  17. ^ F.E. Warren (editor), The Antiphonary of Bangor (Harrison and Sons, London 1895), part II, pp. 19, 20, 29, 32
  18. ^ Warren (1895), p. 58
  19. ^ Jules Pargoire, "Prime et Complines" in La Revue d'histoire et de Littérature, III (1898), 282–88; Dict. d'Archéologie et de Liturgie, I, 198; II, 1245, 1302, 1306.
  20. ^ Table comparing the 1568 and the 1911 psalters
  21. ^ The Inter-Hours may also be read during Great Lent if there is to be no reading from the Ladder of Divine Ascent at the Little Hours.
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-03-31. Retrieved 2021-01-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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