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Anastasia1
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« on: May 28, 2012, 03:41:46 AM »

I have heard of the liturgy of the hours or divine office as Christian prayers done at certain times of day. Do these exist in the Orthodox churches? OO?  Or just Catholic and Lutheran?  If they do exist in the Orthodox, how often are they done, like who actually follows them?
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 04:37:08 AM »

They exist in both the EO and OO churches, and are contained in what is called the Horologion, or Book of Hours (The Slavonic Chasoslov or Coptic Agpia mean the same thing.

In monasteries they're read in their entirety every day. In parishes, the 9th Hour is normally read before Vespers in the evening, and in Slavic usage, where Matins is typically sung in the evening, the 3rd and 6th hours are normally read before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.

Among laypeople in the EO tradition, only the Midnight Office and Compline are read privately on a daily basis (although in many Greek prayer books the concluding prayer of the 1st Hour is often added to the former). In the Coptic tradition, at least, private reading of the Hours by laypeople is more common, albeit in abbreviated form.

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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 07:37:19 AM »

Here is the Coptic Agpeya (the book of the hours): hr.smcoc.ca (it is formatted with the intention of use on a mobile phone).

Laity generally pray Prime and Compline daily. Some also add the 6th hours and/or 11th. Most pray only a portion of the 12 Psalms in each hours according to a set rule. All hours are prayed in their entirety when there are services in Church. For example, before Vespers (raising of evening incense) on the eve of Sun, the 9th, 11th, and 12th hours will be prayed. After Vespers, the midnight hour will be prayed before the Midnight Praise. Then before the raising of morning incense, the prime hour is prayed, and between the raising of morning incense and the Liturgy of the Word, the 3rd and 6th hours are prayed. When they are prayed in the church though, instead of all the Psalms being read publicly or by everyone, the 12 Ps of each hour are divided between those present, so it goes very fast and most of the time is spent on the Gospel and litanies.

Here is a 4 min video about the "assembly", i.e. the prayer of the 3rd and 6th hours before the Liturgy on a Sunday (or a different set of hours on a different day when the Liturgy is at a different time): http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/index.php/english/abouna-s-blog/15-understanding-the-liturgy-video
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 07:39:30 AM by Jonathan » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 11:27:50 AM »

In Armenian they are called "jhamyerkootyoon," and the book that contains them is called the "jhamakirk."  They are, of course, done more regularly in monasteries than at parish churches but they are done a little bit in the parish churches.  The chanting they do in Armenian churches early on Sunday mornings before the liturgy is a jhamyerkootyoon which in English is called Matins.  During Lent, churches will have jhamyerkootyoons done in the evening, usually on Wednesday and/or Friday.  And after the liturgy during Lent you will hear the jhamyerkootyoon which in English is called Prime.  I'll try to find examples later from the OO music thread.
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 11:34:22 AM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9840.msg286160.html#msg286160

Look at posts 232 and 233.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2012, 11:48:55 AM »

I have heard of the liturgy of the hours or divine office as Christian prayers done at certain times of day. Do these exist in the Orthodox churches? OO?  Or just Catholic and Lutheran?  If they do exist in the Orthodox, how often are they done, like who actually follows them?
There is an EO manual of them written by an Athonite for use by non-monastic laity
http://www.holymyrrhbearers.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=43

They are done by all Orthodox, EO and OO, monastics.  They are practically done only by monastics by those under the Vatican (their Coptic monastics have a dispensation from doing the full Coptic Orthodox office).  The Lutheran use is relatively new.  They are done in varying degrees among a large number of Orthoddox, EO and OO, non-monastic laity, the Copts I think being the ones with the largest number of non-monastic laity who do them.
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2012, 12:58:38 PM »

Here's a basic look at what the EO hours look like (with the proper hymns for the day inserted): http://orthodox.seasidehosting.st/hourly_services

(The services are dynamically generated for the saints of the day, and I noticed a few things are not liturgically correct, but it gives you a pretty good idea.)
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 01:00:44 PM by age234 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2012, 01:25:21 PM »

In the Syriac Orthodox Church we have prayers for the following hours:
- Ramsho (Evening Prayer, after sunset - 6PM)
- Soothoro (Bedtime prayer, around 9PM before you go to bed)
- Lilyo (Midnigth prayer)
- Saphro (Morning Prayer, around sunrise 6AM)
- tloth sho'in (Third Hour, which is around 9AM)
- sheth sho'in (Sixth Hour, which is 12 Noon)
- tsha 'sho'in (Ninth Hour, which is 3 PM)

The liturgy for the hours is different on each day of the week. So the hymns of Ramsho of Monday is not the same as on Tuesday. This prayer book in called the "S'himo" . The only English translation of the 'S'himo' is that by a Catholic Monk from the Syro-Malanakara Eastern Rite.
http://www.amazon.com/Common-Prayer-shhimo-Syrian-Church/dp/1593330332/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338224942&sr=8-1
In 1910, with the permission of H.H Abdulla II Patiarch, Very Rev Konatt Mathen Malpan shortened the 'S'himo' for the laity and published the 'Book of Common Prayer' which has the same prayers and hymns for all days of the week. Very Rev Fr.  Mathen primarily picked the 'Shimo' prayers of Wednesday for every day. The prayers of the 'S'himo' at each hour is now only used by the Monks. The laity uses the 'Book of Common Prayer'.
http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/SimplePrayer/Prologue.html
Typically the laity prays the '9th Hour, Evening Prayer (Ramsho) and Bedtime Prayer (Soothoro)' together in the evening and the Morning prayer (Saphro), thrid hour and sixth hour in the Morning. The midnight prayer is rarely said by the laity.

Here are some of the hymns from S'himo. These are Malayalam translations (from Syriac) as used in India.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3VSdRl69Js
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbD3-bmarbQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM-hQSiBYxQ
Chating of Psalm 91 and 121 from the Soothara (Bedtime) Prayer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPEktdjoT0
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 01:34:37 PM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2012, 02:19:36 PM »

All about the Agpeya: http://www.agpeya.org/ (with recordings of English and Coptic parts)

The Coptic way of using the Agpeya is usually to do several hours at one time (like in church we pray the third and sixth hour, one right after the other). Of the hours you'll see at that website, only Veil is not to be prayed by laity, as it is reserved for the monks.
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 03:05:06 PM »

All about the Agpeya: http://www.agpeya.org/ (with recordings of English and Coptic parts)

The Coptic way of using the Agpeya is usually to do several hours at one time (like in church we pray the third and sixth hour, one right after the other). Of the hours you'll see at that website, only Veil is not to be prayed by laity, as it is reserved for the monks.

The prayer of the veil is not banned for laity. It is a later addition and there is probably no good reason to pray it since normally everything else is already abbreviated in the home. But it is not banned.

I wouldn't say that the "norm" is to pray several hours at once. The norm is to pray the correct hour at its appropriate time. On days when the Liturgy is celebrated, the hours are condensed together before or after liturgical services, since the Liturgy is going on when they should be prayed. Normally the Liturgy would only be prayed on Sundays, and later on Saturdays, and of course on feast days. So most days the hours would not be interrupted. In the past century, it has become common practise to pray the liturgy daily. As a result, in the monastery, the place of origin of the hours, they are now rarely prayed at the appropriate times. In the home, on the other hand, the older tradition of going to Church for the Liturgy only on Sunday is still the norm, so the usage of the hours is still correct.
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 04:11:21 PM »

Johnathan: My apologies. I am trying to describe what is normative, as far as what my priests have told me. Regarding the order of the hours, you are absolutely right (in fact, I am not used to praying the hours as I have described, but my priest has recommended that I do so, as he apparently recommends everyone). I think it is a bit of a concession to the fact that most people cannot pray each hour in full at its appropriate time (sort of like how it is best to pray all the psalms in an hour, but from what I can understand that is not how most laity do it).

Regarding veil: That's a typo on my part. I meant to write "are not prayed", not "are not to be prayed". It says in my agebya about veil "The prayer of the veil concerns the monks". When I asked my priest what that means, he said "It is mostly for the monks." Nothing about it being banned. Sorry about that.
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 04:24:04 PM »

In most of the Greek monasteries I've been to, the services are prayed more or less at their correct times, give or take an hour.

Midnight office begins around 3am or thereabouts, followed by the Matins, which finishes at dawn, marked by the singing of the doxology. Then follows the Divine Liturgy, with the 1st Hour being read during the communion of the clergy at about 6am. After the morning meal, the 3rd and 6th Hours are prayed by the monks in their cells at their appropriate times. The 9th Hour begins around 3 or 4pm, followed by Vespers. Compline, the prayers of the 12th Hour, begin around 6pm as appointed.


I believe Slavic practice is always to read the 6th hour before the Liturgy, and so the 1st, 3rd, and 6th Hours are prayed together. At least this is what I have experienced at Slavic monasteries.
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2012, 04:34:42 PM »

The only English translation of the 'S'himo' is that by a Catholic Monk from the Syro-Malanakara Eastern Rite.

The Malankara Orthodox Church has an English translation available. I think it was done by two Deacons at seminary.
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 05:35:34 AM »

In the Syriac Orthodox Church we have prayers for the following hours:
- Ramsho (Evening Prayer, after sunset - 6PM)
- Soothoro (Bedtime prayer, around 9PM before you go to bed)
- Lilyo (Midnigth prayer)
- Saphro (Morning Prayer, around sunrise 6AM)
- tloth sho'in (Third Hour, which is around 9AM)
- sheth sho'in (Sixth Hour, which is 12 Noon)
- tsha 'sho'in (Ninth Hour, which is 3 PM)

The liturgy for the hours is different on each day of the week. So the hymns of Ramsho of Monday is not the same as on Tuesday. This prayer book in called the "S'himo" . The only English translation of the 'S'himo' is that by a Catholic Monk from the Syro-Malanakara Eastern Rite.
http://www.amazon.com/Common-Prayer-shhimo-Syrian-Church/dp/1593330332/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338224942&sr=8-1
In 1910, with the permission of H.H Abdulla II Patiarch, Very Rev Konatt Mathen Malpan shortened the 'S'himo' for the laity and published the 'Book of Common Prayer' which has the same prayers and hymns for all days of the week. Very Rev Fr.  Mathen primarily picked the 'Shimo' prayers of Wednesday for every day. The prayers of the 'S'himo' at each hour is now only used by the Monks. The laity uses the 'Book of Common Prayer'.
http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/SimplePrayer/Prologue.html
Typically the laity prays the '9th Hour, Evening Prayer (Ramsho) and Bedtime Prayer (Soothoro)' together in the evening and the Morning prayer (Saphro), thrid hour and sixth hour in the Morning. The midnight prayer is rarely said by the laity.

Here are some of the hymns from S'himo. These are Malayalam translations (from Syriac) as used in India.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3VSdRl69Js
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbD3-bmarbQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM-hQSiBYxQ
Chating of Psalm 91 and 121 from the Soothara (Bedtime) Prayer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPEktdjoT0

I use this by Fr. Dale Johnson of our Syriac Orthodox Church the entire syriac shimo translated into English. An excellent purchase in my opinion. Also available as an ebook and on itunes.

Daily Prayers from the Language of Jesus by Fr. Dale A Johnson : http://www.lulu.com/shop/dale-a-johnson/daily-prayers-from-the-language-of-jesus/paperback/product-1476571.html
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2012, 10:46:01 AM »

Dear Jobin and Sheen J,
Thank you very much for the info. I was not aware of these English translations. Does Fr. Dale Johnson translate the Syriac Hymns into English hymns, set to the original meter ? Or does he traslate it into prose?

« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 10:46:35 AM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2012, 01:59:59 PM »

Dear Jobin and Sheen J,
Thank you very much for the info. I was not aware of these English translations. Does Fr. Dale Johnson translate the Syriac Hymns into English hymns, set to the original meter ? Or does he traslate it into prose?



He translates it into prose, which is the only real downside to the publication i guess.
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2014, 06:28:14 PM »

In the Syriac Orthodox Church we have prayers for the following hours:
- Ramsho (Evening Prayer, after sunset - 6PM)
- Soothoro (Bedtime prayer, around 9PM before you go to bed)
- Lilyo (Midnigth prayer)
- Saphro (Morning Prayer, around sunrise 6AM)
- tloth sho'in (Third Hour, which is around 9AM)
- sheth sho'in (Sixth Hour, which is 12 Noon)
- tsha 'sho'in (Ninth Hour, which is 3 PM)

The liturgy for the hours is different on each day of the week. So the hymns of Ramsho of Monday is not the same as on Tuesday. This prayer book in called the "S'himo" .

I just found an online recording of the entire s'himo and wanted to share.
https://archive.org/details/DailyPrayersOfTheSyriacOrthodoxChurchshimo-Aramaic-Complete
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2014, 07:36:34 PM »

I believe Slavic practice is always to read the 6th hour before the Liturgy, and so the 1st, 3rd, and 6th Hours are prayed together. At least this is what I have experienced at Slavic monasteries.

Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian Orthodox practice is generally to group the hours together when they're celebrated, whether in the monasteries or the churches. Most monasteries I've been to would have Matins followed by the First, Third, and Sixth Hours and (depending on the day) Typica or Divine Liturgy in the morning, Ninth Hour with Vespers in the evening just before or after supper, and then Compline at its appropriate time before retiring, unless it was Saturday or the eve of a significant feast day, in which case 'All-Night Vigil' (a mash-up of Vespers, Matins, and First Hour) would be served around the time Vespers is normally served in the evening.

In Byzantine Orthodox lay practice my experience has been that people pray what they can - some will do First Hour early in the morning and Vespers after work or Compline before bed, others will squeeze Sixth Hour into their lunch break from work, et cetera. Still others prefer to do the morning/evening prayers set out in various prayerbooks, so there's a wide variance in what's going on devotionally :-).
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2014, 09:01:07 PM »

I believe Slavic practice is always to read the 6th hour before the Liturgy, and so the 1st, 3rd, and 6th Hours are prayed together. At least this is what I have experienced at Slavic monasteries.

Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian Orthodox practice is generally to group the hours together when they're celebrated, whether in the monasteries or the churches. Most monasteries I've been to would have Matins followed by the First, Third, and Sixth Hours and (depending on the day) Typica or Divine Liturgy in the morning, Ninth Hour with Vespers in the evening just before or after supper, and then Compline at its appropriate time before retiring, unless it was Saturday or the eve of a significant feast day, in which case 'All-Night Vigil' (a mash-up of Vespers, Matins, and First Hour) would be served around the time Vespers is normally served in the evening.

In Byzantine Orthodox lay practice my experience has been that people pray what they can - some will do First Hour early in the morning and Vespers after work or Compline before bed, others will squeeze Sixth Hour into their lunch break from work, et cetera. Still others prefer to do the morning/evening prayers set out in various prayerbooks, so there's a wide variance in what's going on devotionally :-).
For those laypeople that follow the hours for their private devotion rather than alternative prayer books, what source do they use? I was always led to believe that the Horologion itself was pretty difficult to do as layperson outside of a liturgical setting, unlike the Roman Breviary.
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2014, 09:16:55 PM »

For those laypeople that follow the hours for their private devotion rather than alternative prayer books, what source do they use? I was always led to believe that the Horologion itself was pretty difficult to do as layperson outside of a liturgical setting, unlike the Roman Breviary.

Fwiw, after trying a few over the years (including two Horologion type cement blocks books), I've found this one to be good for home use. If you're looking for exactitude/everything this wouldn't be it, but if you're just looking for the basic cycle of prayers, but in a size closer to your standard prayer book, then it works quite well IMO.
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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 09:18:09 PM »

I have heard of the liturgy of the hours or divine office as Christian prayers done at certain times of day. Do these exist in the Orthodox churches? OO?  Or just Catholic and Lutheran?  If they do exist in the Orthodox, how often are they done, like who actually follows them?
churches in the Anglican communion use them also-the hours are a significant portion of the book of common prayer:
http://www.bcponline.org/DailyOffice/dailyoff.html
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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2014, 09:28:23 PM »

For those laypeople that follow the hours for their private devotion rather than alternative prayer books, what source do they use? I was always led to believe that the Horologion itself was pretty difficult to do as layperson outside of a liturgical setting, unlike the Roman Breviary.

Fwiw, after trying a few over the years (including two Horologion type cement blocks books), I've found this one to be good for home use. If you're looking for exactitude/everything this wouldn't be it, but if you're just looking for the basic cycle of prayers, but in a size closer to your standard prayer book, then it works quite well IMO.
Ah, excellent! I have a friend who owns this version. I myself have an extremely abridged hours booklet compiled by a Greek Archimandrite and translated into English but I was wondering if there was something out there more substantial. Thank you!
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2014, 10:49:53 PM »

In Athos monks follow the byzantine hours not the greek.  In sunset is 12:00 midnight there
(They also have a second time "Iviritiki" where the 12:00 midnight is the sunrise and they follow it in Moni Iviron)
They change their clock every saturday night

and they have 7 prayers

1) Vespers
2) Apodeipnon (evening something after dinner I don't know the english word)
3) Mesoniktikon (midnight something I don't know the english word)
4) Mattins + 1st hour
5) 3rd Hour
6) 6th Hour
7) 9th Hour



so this moment in Greece is 5:00 am but in Athos is 11:07 am (byzantine)
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« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2014, 11:12:16 PM »

In Athos monks follow the byzantine hours not the greek.  In sunset is 12:00 midnight there
(They also have a second time "Iviritiki" where the 12:00 midnight is the sunrise and they follow it in Moni Iviron)
They change their clock every saturday night

and they have 7 prayers

1) Vespers
2) Apodeipnon (evening something after dinner I don't know the english word)
3) Mesoniktikon (midnight something I don't know the english word)
4) Mattins + 1st hour
5) 3rd Hour
6) 6th Hour
7) 9th Hour



so this moment in Greece is 5:00 am but in Athos is 11:07 am (byzantine)


Apodeipnon = Compline

Mesoniktikon = Midnight Office
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2014, 12:54:05 PM »

I believe Slavic practice is always to read the 6th hour before the Liturgy, and so the 1st, 3rd, and 6th Hours are prayed together. At least this is what I have experienced at Slavic monasteries.

Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian Orthodox practice is generally to group the hours together when they're celebrated, whether in the monasteries or the churches. Most monasteries I've been to would have Matins followed by the First, Third, and Sixth Hours and (depending on the day) Typica or Divine Liturgy in the morning, Ninth Hour with Vespers in the evening just before or after supper, and then Compline at its appropriate time before retiring, unless it was Saturday or the eve of a significant feast day, in which case 'All-Night Vigil' (a mash-up of Vespers, Matins, and First Hour) would be served around the time Vespers is normally served in the evening.

In Byzantine Orthodox lay practice my experience has been that people pray what they can - some will do First Hour early in the morning and Vespers after work or Compline before bed, others will squeeze Sixth Hour into their lunch break from work, et cetera. Still others prefer to do the morning/evening prayers set out in various prayerbooks, so there's a wide variance in what's going on devotionally :-).
For those laypeople that follow the hours for their private devotion rather than alternative prayer books, what source do they use? I was always led to believe that the Horologion itself was pretty difficult to do as layperson outside of a liturgical setting, unlike the Roman Breviary.

All kinds :-). If you have the money you can buy the relevant books - the Book of Hours, the Octoechos, the Menaia (one for each month), the Triodion, and the Pentecostarion - but they do take up quite a bit of space. You couldn't travel, for example, and do the full cycle without bringing at least three heavy books with you. Many use online sources though - my OCF in university printed out what was available online, and had a fairly full cycle of services each week (usually Matins or Hours a couple of times a week plus Vespers or Compline a couple of nights each week).

The Byzantine Rite's services are decently complex - the Benedictine Breviary used by many Western Orthodox, for example, is much easier to figure out - but there are basic Typicon guidelines out there to follow, and you can get the hang of it between the guidelines and paying attention to what's going on in your church :-).
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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2014, 12:55:05 PM »

In Athos monks follow the byzantine hours not the greek.  In sunset is 12:00 midnight there
(They also have a second time "Iviritiki" where the 12:00 midnight is the sunrise and they follow it in Moni Iviron)
They change their clock every saturday night

and they have 7 prayers

1) Vespers
2) Apodeipnon (evening something after dinner I don't know the english word)
3) Mesoniktikon (midnight something I don't know the english word)
4) Mattins + 1st hour
5) 3rd Hour
6) 6th Hour
7) 9th Hour



so this moment in Greece is 5:00 am but in Athos is 11:07 am (byzantine)


Apodeipnon = Compline

Mesoniktikon = Midnight Office


Also known as Nocturns. Some places pray this in the middle of the night, but some monasteries I've been to didn't seem to have it at all - perhaps they just did it in the monks' dormitory chapel and not in the church as with the rest of the services?
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2014, 02:45:48 PM »

Also known as Nocturns. Some places pray this in the middle of the night, but some monasteries I've been to didn't seem to have it at all - perhaps they just did it in the monks' dormitory chapel and not in the church as with the rest of the services?

It's possible.  The midnight office is observed differently in different traditions (and even within the same tradition).  It can be done in church like other services, or in a separate chapel, or even read privately. 
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