Re: Seven Times Prayers of the Orthodox System
- Dear moderator / Jose Kurian Puliyeril
See what Bar Ebroyo says about the times of prayers
in his books Ethicon and Hoodaya canon. More details
could be given on request.
Bar Ebroyo says that there are six times of canonical
prayers a day and quoting the Canons of the Holy
Apostles, especially that of Paul, he explains
why one should pray so many times. In the morning,
after getting up from the sleep and washing the face
each believer and female believer should pray, before
starting his / her work. A believer should not pray
even at home with a heareror with a heretic.
"Perform prayer in the morning because the Lord has
brought light; at the third hour,at which our
Lord Jesus was sentenced; at the sixth because at
that hour he was crucified (John 19:14-16), at the
ninth hour because at that hour everything was shaken
and shuddering (Mt. 27: 51); in the evening because
of the rest of the night; at the crowing of the cock,
because it is the hour which announces the coming of
the day. And the excellent teachers (of the Church)
have added a final prayer of Compline, in order that
it would be fulfilled 'Seven times a day I praise
you for your righteous judgements (Ps 119:164)',
as it was said by David."
 The Canons of the Apostles were borrowed from
the Octateuchus Syrus, Book VI. The text of these
canons were edited and translated by A.VÖÖBUS in
The Synodicon in the West-Syrian Tradition I. Cf.
VÖÖBUS: Synodicon I, p. 75 (p. 87 transl.). There
are various collections in the west-Syrian tradition
under this title and Bar Ebroyo makes use of all of
them in his Nomocanon. Also cf. SELB :Orientalisches
Kirchenrecht II, p. 97, especially cf. pp. 92-98 for
a brief description of them.
 Nomocanon (ed. BEDJAN), p. 63. The term AtNh?has
the following meanings; a.) "Hearer," "hearkner,"
"listener"; b) "An official appointed to hear law
suits"; c) "A pupil/ one under instruction." Cf.
PAYNE -SMITH: Dictionary, p. 583; Thesaurus Syriacus II,
col. 4216. In the ancient Church, the term denoted a
group of people who have just heard about the Gospel,
but not yet confirmed in the faith or baptised. They
usually occupied the last place (Exonarthex) or the
Narthex in the ancient Churches, which had fixed
places for the Clergy, Baptised believers, To Be
Baptised believers (catechumens) and for the Hearers.
Cf. Benner et. al: Die Orthodoxen Kirchen, pp. 6-8;
Thöle: Zugänge zur Orthodoxie, pp. 135-138. It is quite
possible that Bar Ebroyo means here the group of people
who have just heard the Gospel. But it is very dubious,
whether the hearers still existed in the Church during
Bar Ebroyo´s time also. It seems also viable to assume
that they are mentioned here just because Bar Ebroyo
is directly quoting from the Canons of the Apostles.
 The seven times of prayer in the Syrian Orthodox
Church are the following: Morning, Third Hour, Sixth
Hour, Ninth Hour, Evening, Compline and the Night.
As many of these times are directly related to the
biblical events, the division of time according to
the New Testament is taken over by the Church. In
the New Testament times, the Day and Night were
equally calculated into 12 hours, i.e., from sunrise
to sunset 12 hours and from sunset to sunrise 12.
So, in the summer, the hours of the day had more
than 60 minutes and correspondingly the hours of
the night were shorter. Therefore, it is necessary
to know the date also to exactly calculate the New
Testament hours. Approximately calculated, Third Hour
means the time between sunrise and noon, the Sixth
Hour means Noon and the Ninth Hour the time between
Noon and evening. Cf. RIENECKER F: Stunde,
 Ethicon (ed. TEULE), p. 21; Nomocanon (ed. BEDJAN),
With Love and Prayers
Fr.Dr.BIJI CHIRATHILATTU MARKOSE
Vicar of the St.Mary's Syrian Orthodox Congregation
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Jose Kurian Puliyeril wrote:
> Seven Times Prayers of the Orthodox System.
> (7 Yama Prarthanakal of Orthodox worship Order)
> First of all let us think what is prayer. Our Patron
> Saint, St. Gregorios, who was practically a man of
> prayer, has taught us "prayer is the enthusiasm of
> the childhood, dependence of the youth, and peace of
> the old age. Prayer is a golden chain which links
> the world in different ways to the presence of God."
> In short we must understand prayer is an essential
> need to maintain the growth of our spirituality.
> Our Church Fathers insist us to have prayer in standing
> position, as it is the best way to express our respect
> to God Almighty. So we are not supposed to do prayers
> in the sitting position. More over we have been asked
> to prostrate (to do Sashtangapranam== Kumbideel)along
> with our prayers. Daniel 6:10 say that he used to
> prostrate three times a day. (See Ezekiel 3:23, 46; 2,
> Revelations 1:17, 11:16, 19:4, 22:9).