Royal Hours of Theophany


Since the Eve of Theophany falls on a Saturday, the Royal Hours are served on the Friday prior, and the liturgy is not served at all on that day.


Royal Hours: At about 8 a.m. (the second hour of the day according to the ecclesiastical time), the priest, vested in a phelonion, brings out the Gospel through the Royal Doors and sets it upon an analogion in the middle of the Church. Blessed is our God. Reader: Amen. O Heavenly King; Trisagion to Our Father; O come let us worship.

      Psalms of each hour (At each hour there are two special psalms and one that is usually read). During the reading of the Psalms there is a censing, beginning at the analogion on which the Gospel was placed. At the First Hour, there is a full censing, which is done by the priest with the deacon (i.e. The Altar and all the temple). At the Third Hour and the Sixth Hour there is a lesser censing, done by the deacon; at the Ninth Hour there is a full censing done by the priest with the deacon. After the psalms, Troparion of the Forefeast, the usual Theotokion, and then the special stichera (troparia with refrains). Let us attend; Prokimenon and the Old Testament Reading; Epistle reading. After the reading of the Epistle: Priest: Peace be unto thee. Reader: And to thy spirit. Deacon: Wisdom! Aright! Let us hear the Holy Gospel. Priest: Peace be unto all. Choir: And to thy spirit. Priest: The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to ____. Choir: Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee. Deacon: Let us attend. And the Gospel is read by the priest; then we continue with the reading of the hour (i.e., at the First Hour we read: My steps do Thou direct; at the Third Hour: Blessed is the Lord God; etc.).

      At all the hours, we chant the Kontakion of the Forefeast.

      At the Ninth Hour, the last sticheron When thy hand touched the all-pure head of the Master is first chanted solemnly, and during its last words the priest, reader and people make three bows from the waist; G/N and the same sticheron again: When thy hand touched the all-pure head of the Master.

      After the completion of the reading of the Gospel at the Ninth Hour, it is taken into the Altar. Then the Royal Doors are closed, and the priest removes his phelonion.

      After the prayer of the Ninth Hour (O Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God) we begin Typika with Psalm 102 (Bless the Lord, o my soul) and Psalm 145 (Praise the Lord, O my soul), and the rest according to the usual order. 

      After The choir of Holy angels and archangels, at Both now… we read the Creed. Remit, pardon, forgive. Our Father; Kontakion: Forefeast; Lord, have mercy x40; O All-Holy Trinity. Blessed be the name of the Lord x3; G/N: Psalm 33 (I will bless the Lord at all times). Priest: Wisdom! Choir: It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, Ever blessed and most blameless, and Mother of our God (making a bow from the waist). Priest: O Most holy Theotokos, save us. Choir: More honorable than the Cherubim. Priest: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to Thee. Choir: G/N: Lord, have mercy x3; Father (Master), Bless. And the priest gives the lesser dismissal.