The Daily Cycle of Orthodox Christian Worship
public worship can generally be described as falling into two
categories, the Daily Cycle and the “Holy Mysteries” (“Sacraments”).
Daily Cycle consists of divine services that are celebrated in order
throughout the day. The complete daily cycle is generally celebrated
only in monasteries. In parish life certain of the daily services are
celebrated in the local church while others are read individually by
the faithful at home, either as families or individually.
normal order, referred to as the Typikón, of the Daily Cycle follows
the following pattern. Times given for the services are general, and
vary from monastery to monastery and place to place depending on local
needs and circumstances.
|Services of the Daily Cycle
|Daily Prayer Time for
Individuals and Families
|Sunday and Feast Day
Service Time in Parishes
|Daily Service Time
|Late Afternoon; may vary from 5 to 7 pm. Typically done only on Saturday evenings and before Great Feasts
|Nominally at sunset, but in practice may vary from 3 to 6 pm.
|Apódeipnon or Cómpline
|After dinner and before sleep; this is our daily Evening Prayer.
|Nominally immediately after dinner, but may be deferred to later in the evening.
|Upon waking; this is our daily Morning Prayer.
|Nominally at midnight; may vary from 12 to 5 am.
|Órthros or Mátins
|Typically only done in some parishes immediately preceding the Divine Liturgy, usually at 8 or 9 am.
|Nominally at sunrise but typically immediately following the Midnight Office.
|Nominally at 6:00am, typically immediately following Matins.
|Typically only done in some parishes preceding the Divine Liturgy, usually at 8:10 or 9:10 am
|Nominally at 9:00am, but in practice typically combined with the Sixth Hour and either done by one monastic in a chapel, or done individually by monastics in their cells.
|Typically only done in some parishes preceding the Divine Liturgy and immediately follows the 3rd Hour.
|Nominally at 12:00 noon, but in practice immediately follows the Third Hour and either done by one monastic in a chapel, or done individually by monastics in their cells.
|Typically only done in some parishes immediately preceding Vespers.
|Nominally at 3:00 pm, but done immediately preceding Vespers.
Divine Liturgy is not itself a part of the Daily Cycle but is inserted
into the cycle, usually after Orthros or the Sixth Hour. The services
of the Daily Cycle are usually contained in a bound collection called
the Book of Hours, also known as the Horologion (Greek) or Chasoslov