There are Seven Daily Services Apart from the Divine Liturgy

Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,

PSALM 141 [142]

Lord, I cry out to You; make haste to me! give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked. Their judges are over-thrown by the sides of the cliff, and they hear my words, for they are sweet. Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave, as when one plows and breaks up the earth. But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord; in You I take refuge; do not leave my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, and from the traps of the workers of iniquity  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I escape safely.

[This is the psalm of the evening incense. This psalm is both sung at the evening prayers, or Vespers, with 141:2 sung both in Israel and in the Church during the offering of the incense to God. As Revelation 5:8 teaches, incense is the visible sign of the prayers of all God's people. The prophet Malachi foretold its continued use in "every place," including "among the Gentiles" (Mal. 1:11). Incense was brought to Christ as a gift at His Birth, and it has been used in the worship of the Orthodox Christian Church from her very start.)



On September 4th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors, and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, Teachers, and of every soul made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses and his brother Aaron the Priest; Holy Hieromartyr Vavylas, Bishop of Antioch the Great; the Three Children who were with him, Urban, Prilidian, and Epolonius; and their mother, Chrostodula; who were perfected in martyrdom by the sword; Saint Vavylas, a teacher of Nicomedia, was perfected in martyrdom by the sword with the Eighty-Four Children who were his disciples; Saint Hermione, one of the daughters of St. Philip the Apostles; Saints Theotimus and Theodulus, executioners who believed in Christ, through Saint Hermione,, were perfected in martyrdom by fire; the Holy Martyrs Centurion, Theodore, Amianus, and Julian, who were from the village of Kandaule; Holy Martyrs Petronius, Charitina, Sarbelus (Sharbel), Thathuel, and Vebaia; on this day we commemorate the Holy 3, 628 holy Martyrs of Nicomedia; our Righteous and God-bearing Father Anthimus of Cephalonia, the New Ascetic, who struggle in Crete; our Righteous Father Symeon the Clairvoyant and Wonderworker, Egoumenos (Abbot) of Garedja in Georgia.

+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Bishops, Holy Children, Holy Martyrs, Holy Teachers, Holy Disciples, Holy Mothers, Holy Fathers, Holy Ascetics, Holy Prophets, Holy Priests, O Christ Our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

SAINT VAVYLAS THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR AND BISHOP OF ANTIOCH. Saint Vavylas was the twelfth Bishop of Antioch, being the successor of Zebinus (or Zevinas); he was beheaded during the reign of pagan Roman emperor Decius, in the year 250 AD, and at his own request was buried in the chains with which he had been bound. The emperor Gallus (reigned 351-354 AD) built a church in his honor at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, to put an end to the demonic oracles at the nearby temple of Apollo. When Julian the Apostate came in 362 AD to consult the oracle about his campaign against the Persians, the oracle (that is, the demon within it) remained dumb until at last, answering Julian's many sacrifices and supplications, it told him, "The dead prevent me from speaking." It told Julian to dig up the bones and move them. Julian, then, in the words of Saint John Chrysostom, "leaving all the other dead, moved only that Martyr." He commanded the Christians to take away Saint Vavylas' bones, which they did with great solemnity and triumph. When this had been done, a thunderbolt fell from heaven destroying with fire the shrine of Apollo, which Julian did not dare rebuilt. Saint John Chrysostom preached a sermon on this within a generation after.

Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Hieromartyr. Fourth Tone

As a sharer of the ways and successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Vavylas. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion of the Hieromartyr. Fourth Tone

In thy heart, O Vavylas, thou sacred Martyr, thou didst set the mighty works of faith and keptest them secure; hence, thou didst not fear the tyrant's rage. Keep us as well, O good servant of Christ our God.



Holy Epistle Lesson: II Corinthians 10:7-18

Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Mark 3:28-35


"In everything refrain from seeking to appear important" (Saint Basil the Great)


By Saint Symeon of Thessalonike (Source: Treatise on Prayer)

The times of prayer and the services are seven in number, like the number of gifts of the Holy Spirit, since the holy prayers are from the Holy Spirit. They are as follows:

Midnight Office

Orthros [Matins] joined with the First Hour (Prime),

the Third Hour, the Sixth Hour and the Ninth Hour,

Vespers {Esperinos} and Compline [Apodeipnos].

The prophet David refers to them: "Seven times a day have I praised You" (Psalm 118:164). And he mentions each hour of prayer: "At midnight I arose" (Psalm 118:62); "My God, My God, for You I arise early" (Psalm 62:2); "In the morning let Him hear my voice: I will come before You, and You will regard me" (Psalm 5:4). Regarding the Third, Sixth and Vespers, he says:

"in the evening, in the morning and at noon I will speak and call, and He will hear my voice" (Psalm 54:48); and regarding Compline, "Every night I will water my couch, I will wash my bed with my tears" (Psalm 6:7).


The reason for each service is as follows: the Midnight Office, because of the unsleeping and ceaseless praise of the Angels, and the calm and peace of the mind during the divine doxology, and the Resurrection-for the Lord arose early on the Sabbath. Also, because of His Second Coming, which all of us faithful look for, when He will raise us from death as from sleep. For He is the Bridegroom of souls, as it is said: He will come in the middle of the night, and we must be watchful.

Orthros [Matins], to praise the Author of Light at the coming of the day, the dissolver of the darkness of error and the granter of the light of piety. This is why the praise of the Fist Hour is joined onto Orthros, as being the first fruits of the day, offering a gift and a sacrifice of praise to God, Who reveals Himself through the Light illuminating all His creatures. Therefore with the Angels we call upon God in praise.

We pray the Third Hour in honor of the Holy Trinity, because a quarter of the day (an arrangement composed of four elements) has passed and because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the Third Hour. Similarly, the Sixth Hour, to the glory of the Holy Trinity which brought forth everything and because the space of three hours (another quarter of the four-part order of the day) is past, and is the very middle of the day. At this hour, also the Sixth, he who became incarnate for us was crucified on our behalf. And the praise of the Ninth Hour in honor of the Holy Trinity, because three hours have passed since the Sixth. Similarly Vespers (Esperinos) at the Twelfth Hour, since three hours have passed since the Ninth Hour.

The praise of the Third Hour especially, as we have said, for the Holy Trinity, the God of all our only God, since at this hour the judgment against the Savior was given, and at this hour the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, through whom all of us faithful in the world have been illuminated.

The thanksgiving of the Sixth Hour being the middle of the day, and because darkness occurred in the whole land when the Savior suffered in the flesh for us.

The praise of the Ninth Hour, as coming towards the end of the day, and since nine testifies to the Holy Trinity thrice; and especially since at this hour the Savior cried out and gave up His Divine soul to the Father, the perfect sacrifice taking place for us, He being offered in body and soul to our God and Father on behalf of all. Then also the earth shook and the rocks split, and the grave opened as a prelude to the General Resurrection, may bodies of the departed Saints arose, since by the death of the Lord death was put to death and those in Hades were freed. Through His Holy soul commended to the Father, and His flesh given voluntarily for the sacrifice of the Cross, our souls are saved from the hands of the devil, and our bodies granted immortality because He has Risen. Therefore, let us thank Him Who died in the flesh for us, commended our souls in the hands of the Father through His Holy soul, and by His death, brought us to life again.

The praise of vespers (esperinos) testifies to the following: we praise our Creator, since we have come to the end of the day, and dedicated all of it to God. We give thanks for these things also: for our life and nourishment, for thoughts and words and deeds; we petition that we may pass the night in peace, without sin or scandal, for this is a prelude to the end of our lives when the night of death comes to us.



The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George