Praying the Hours

Hi All, 

A few questions concerning the Hours of the Agpeya:

1. I know that the first hour is prayed upon waking up, and the third hour is prayed at around 9am. But what if one were to wake up after 9, would they then pray the first hour or the third? Similarly, would one pray the twelfth hour if they are awake after midnight, or would they go for midnight prayers?

2. There is a prayer titled '[Prayer] From the Psalmody'. Under what circumstances would one recite this prayer? 

3. Why do some hours have twelve psalms, and others have more?

Apologies if these questions seem unnecessarily specific or even superficial/pharisaic, just genuinely curious. 

God bless!


  • hehe, u r supposed to wake up early!


    of course, if you are working 12 noon to 9pm shifts, you won't wake early, so then you can move all the hours forward.

    but generally if you sleep around 9 or 10pm and wake early, you acheive much more.

    if you sleep late, then usually those extra 2 hours staying awake in the evening are spent on chatting, tv, etc, not on growing vegetables, cleaning the house or praying.

    that is why some monasteries have a day running from 4am to 8pm. however, i could never live in a monastery as 8 hrs' sleep is usually not enough for me! i would have to go to bed at 7...

    this also reminds me of true story told by my favourite priest (Godfather) in Bible study during great lent:

    there was a man who called him with joy, saying; 'abouna, today i fasted till 2pm, i am doing well!'. so abouna asked him 'what time did you wake up?'

    they guy replied '1pm!'

  • @menneeryacoub hopefully this can help.

    + 1st Hour - 6 AM
    + 3rd Hour - 9 AM
    + 6th Hour - 12 NOON
    + 9th Hour - 3 PM
    + 11th Hour - 5 PM
    + 12th Hour - 6 PM
    + Midnight - 12 MIDNIGHT

    + 1st Hour - 6 AM
    + 3rd Hour - 9 AM
    + 6th Hour - 12 NOON
    + 9th Hour - 3 PM
    + 11th Hour - 5 PM
    + 1st Hour - 6 PM
    + 3rd Hour - 9 PM
    + 6th Hour - 12 MIDNIGHT
    + 9th Hour - 3 AM
    + 11th Hour - 5 AM
  • i realise i did not actually answer the question, sorry.

    the times are the ones copticboy101 posted :)

    most priests (in my limited experience) recommend you pray the first hour on waking and the 12th hour (6pm) on going to bed.

    most people (including me) do not have time to achieve more than that...

  • Thank you @mabsoota and @CopticBoy101! I understand that those are the hours, but what if, e.g. i happen to be awake past midnight? would i then pray the 12th hour or the midnight hour?
  • You don't need to be so technical. The Midnight Praises are meant for Monasteries. Pray the 3rd hour when you wake up and the Compline, or 12th hour before bed.
  • @menneeryacoub if you wake up at noon, do you still eat breakfast, or do you make lunch?
  • lol good point @CopticBoy101.
    @ItalianCoptic you're very right, i'm probably overthinking it too much. But why the 3rd hour? Please forgive me for all the questions, everyone!
  • i eat lunch (stir fried veg with rice) for breakfast sometimes...


    keep asking questions, menneeryacoub, i do!

  • @menneeryacoub how's this for a different perspective:

    + 1st Hour - when you wake up
    + 3rd Hour - Before lunch
    + 6th Hour - During/After lunch
    + 9th Hour - Before Dinner
    + 11th Hour - During/After Dinner
    + 12th Hour - Before Sleep
    + Midnight - Middle of Sleep
  • Dear @ItalianCoptic
    I am not sure why you say midnight praises are for monasteries only. It is not. If any one has the time they can chant the midnight praises after finishing the ajbeya..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • yes, or if you wake up during the night and your house mate is away


  • edited June 2020
    Hahahaha, Always the funniest, @Mabsoota :D
  • edited June 2020

    I have been taught in my seminary studies the Midnight Praises are USUALLY prayed in Monasteries, but MAY be prayed by an individual. I didn't mean to say they are only for Monasteries, but are mainly prayed in Monasteries. My bad. If he wants to pray them, he has my blessing.
  • Hahahahahaha, that last part was my favouriteeee @italianCoptic!!!
    How about me? I’m planning on praying tomorrow night, do I have your blessing too? :D
  • @ItalianCoptic why do you suggest praying the 3rd hour instead of the first after waking up?
  • edited June 2020
    No @ItalianCoptic I am afraid that is a very mistaken teaching. Midnight praises are not done only in monasteries. Strictly speaking midnight praises as well as vespers praises are part of the liturgical service and should be prayed by any ecclesiastical body serving the liturgy and that means the church primarily (even in conferences and retreats). Now the point of discussion here is if midnight praises could be treated like the ajbeya prayers, ie personal as well as congregational and I see that as yes they are..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • edited June 2020
    You are correct. It is the Prayer of the Veil. I am mistaken.
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