Canonical Hours

CANONICAL HOURS. At a very early date special hours of prayer were appointed by the church. In the Church of Rome the Canonical Hours begin with vespers, or evening prayer, about 6 o'clock, or sunset; next follows compline, a service at bedtime; at midnight the service of nocturns, or matins, was held; lauds, an early morning service of praise, was held at cock-crow. Then came the "Little Hours," prime  at 6 o'clock, terce  at 9, sext  at noon, and nones  at 3.