The '''Hours''' are four relatively brief prayer services of the [[Daily Cycle]] that mark the various principal hours of the day.
* '''''First Hour''''' corresponds to daybreak (6:00 a.m.).
* '''''Ninth Hour''''' corresponds to mid-afternoon (3:00 p.m.)
== General Structure of the Hours ==
Each of the services of the Hours shares the same general structure.
*The service opens with the [[priest]]'s exclamation ''Blessed is our God ...'' and the [[Trisagion Prayers]]. (Note: this opening sequence is omitted if the service immediately follows another service.)
*Three chapters from the Psalter appointed for the particular Hour are read (First Hour: [[Psalms]] 5, 89, 100; Third Hour: Psalms 16, 24, 50; Sixth Hour: Psalms 53, 54, 90; Ninth Hour: Psalms 83, 84, 85)
=== Alleluia Seasons ===
*During an [[Alleluia Season]]:
**a [[kathisma]] may be appointed. If so, it is read following the usual reading from the Psalter.
**the troparion of the day is replaced with troparia and [[stichera]] particular to the Hour.
=== Mesoria ===
During the [[Nativity Fast]] and the [[Apostles' Fast]], each of the First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours is followed by an additional service called a [[Mesorion]] (inter-hour). The Mesorion starts immediately after the final prayer.
=== Royal Hours ===
On the eves of the feasts of [[Nativity]] and [[Theophany]] and on [[Holy Friday]], the usual services of the Hours are combined and replaced by the more solemn [[Royal Hours]]. The Royal Hours include hymnography, prayers, and scripture readings related to the feasts they anticipate.
=== Paschal Hours ===
== Online Texts ==