The "Royal Hours" are beautiful parts of the Orthodox preparation for the three great Baptismal feasts of the Church: Christmas, Theophany and Pascha. They are meditative services, allowing us to savor the great themes and highlights of each feast. Two of the regular psalms of each hour are replaced with those that prophesy the events in the incarnate life of Christ, and appropriate stikhera, Old Testament prophesies and Epistle and Gospel readings are added.
This book provides easy access to these beautiful prayers, hymns and texts in English without the need for multiple books and sheets of paper. In this format, they can easily be celebrated even if only the Lord's quorum of "two or three are gathered together."
Each of the hours has been presented independently, so that if time and circumstances are lacking to do all four on a given vigil day, perhaps at least one can be managed. General rubrics are given, along with instructions for grouping the hours in traditional practice.
The book contains full texts and rubrics for celebration with a priest. However, for those in mission parishes without a regular priest and for those living far from their parishes and unable to attend every service, these hours are uniquely suited to being read, chanted and sung as readers' services.
The texts, including the scriptural psalms taken from our monastery's own Kathisma Psalter, and in the style of our popular "Manual" series, are revised in accordance with the Greek Septuagint translation.