Author Topic: Nativity Royal Hours and Matins of the Feast  (Read 1363 times)

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Offline orthonorm

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Nativity Royal Hours and Matins of the Feast
« on: December 15, 2010, 01:21:39 PM »
I forgot to ask about this on Sunday after Liturgy and the Priest of the parish I attend is currently on pilgrimage, so we won't be having a Vespers till Saturday night.

I received this in my email for the schedule of worship over the Nativity season:

Friday, December 24:  Royal Hours at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and Noon.

Should I prepare myself for 4 hours of standing?

Anyone care to offer a link or basic description of the Matins of the Feast?

Thank you.

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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Nativity Royal Hours and Matins of the Feast
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 01:45:05 PM »
The Royal Hours are like the monastic daily hours except with some differences in the psalter readings, there is a Gospel reading and the nature of the hymns.

The hours do not really last long, about 20-25 minutes each.  So, stand for what you can and when you can't sit.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Nativity Royal Hours and Matins of the Feast
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 01:50:28 PM »
The Royal Hours are like the monastic daily hours except with some differences in the psalter readings, there is a Gospel reading and the nature of the hymns.

The hours do not really last long, about 20-25 minutes each.  So, stand for what you can and when you can't sit.

The standing part was not meant entirely in earnest. I can stand for more than eight hours, I am a relatively healthy adult after all.

More of my concern is that I have to prep myself for longer exposure to the incense. I have a at times severe allergic reaction to it.

Thank you for the info.
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Offline Cymbyz

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Re: Nativity Royal Hours and Matins of the Feast
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 04:54:53 PM »
I'm a tonsured cantor; I've been through Royal Hours several times, and here is my take:

Royal Hours are part of a paramoni.  There are three of these in the liturgical year:  for Christmas, for Epiphany, and for Pascha (the Paramoni of Pascha takes place in the context of the Paschal Triduum, and is not named as a Paramoni).

A paramoni is never celebrated on a weekend; therefore, if Christmas or Epiphany falls on Sunday or Monday, the Paramoni, and hence, the Royal Hours, is celebrated on the preceeding Friday; otherwise, it is celebrated on the Eve of the Feast.

Royal Hours (so named because they were a special service composed for the Byzantine Imperial Chapel) differ from ordinary Hours only in having a more set structure of fixed psalms, Gospel readings, and a special idiomelon sung at the Ninth Hour with prostrations.  In parochial use, Royal Hours shouldn't take up more than two hours.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 04:59:59 PM by Cymbyz »
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