Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Oakmont, PA

Service of the Hours (Part 4)

This Orthodox Tidbit will feature a series of articles on the Orthodox worship services known as "Service of the Hours".

This fourth and final part will be Praying the Hours Today. These articles are excerpted from 2 books by a prolific author of several works on Orthodoxy, Father Anthony Coniaris: Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth and Introducing The Orthodox Church; Its Faith and Life.

Praying the Hours Today

The service of the hours was not able to survive outside the monastic environment. People simply did not have the time to flock to the monasteries three or four times a day. Yet how much we need the inspiration and the power that comes to us today from the prayerful observance of these hours:

Jesus (Icon courtesy of
    the FIRST HOUR, 7 a.m., to thank Jesus for the physical and spiritual light as a new day dawns;

    the THIRD HOUR, 9 a.m., the hour of Pentecost, to thank God for teh Holy Spirit beseeching Him for the Spirit's presence with us throughout the day;

    the SIXTH HOUR, noon, to pause at that, the moment of His crucifixion, to thank Him for His great love for us;

    the NINTH HOUR, 3 p.m., to remeber Him Who expired in our behalf at that very hour, repeating the words of the dying thief: "Remember me, Lord, when You come into your kingdom."

    the TWELFTH HOUR, 6 p.m., to remeber Him Who came to be "a light for revelation to the Gentiles."

    the MIDNIGHT HOUR, to remember Him Who will come again as "a thief in the night" to judge the living and the dead.

The prophet David refers to these seven daily hours of prayer:

"Seven times a day have I praised you" (Psalm 118:164).
And he mentions each hour of prayer: "At midnight I arose" (Psalm 118:62).

Did you miss any Part of the series?
Part 1: Service of the Hours: Days of Each Week
Part 2: Service of the Hours: The Daily Cycle
Part 3: Service of the Hours: The Daily Cycle (Part II)

Icons courtesy of used with permission.

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