An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Day Hours

Canonical offices other than matins, including lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers, and compline. These day hours of the church are traditionally included in an office book known as the Diurnal. Matins was the traditional night office. By the fourth century, the monks were joined by the secular clergy and laity for the principal morning and evening offices of lauds and vespers. The other offices were said by the monks. Matins and the day hours were consolidated by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) into Matins and Evensong in the 1549 Prayer Book. The little offices of terce, sext, and none were not included in the Prayer Book until the twentieth century. The Order of Service for Noonday in the 1979 BCP (pp. 103-107) contains elements of the little offices of terce, sext, and none. It may be adapted for use at any or all of the traditional times of prayer for these three little offices. Similarly, Compline was not included in the 1549 Prayer Book, but elements from Compline were adapted into the Prayer Book service for Evensong. The 1979 BCP provides An Order for Compline (pp. 127-135). See Little Hours of the Divine Office; see Terce, Sext, None.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.