A Complete Prayer Book


Written by:
Ilaria Ramzy

The word AGPEYA originates from the Coptic word "TI-AGP," which literally means "the hour." Seven hours fill this book. "Seven times everyday will I praise Your holy name......My Lord Jesus Christ, My good Saviour," is a line from one of the hymns sang before the VESPER prayers on Saturday. This originates from a psalm written by the prophet David. "Seven times a day, do I praise You of Your righteous judgement" (Psalm 118:164).

The PRIME is the first hour prayed around 6 AM commemorating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate this so early because...."Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land.......(Psalm 63:1)" Within this hour we thank God for keeping us throughout the night safely and bringing us to a new and glorious morning that we ask Him to bless. It should be prayed before breakfast since you give three metanias. Most of us usally sleep through this hour. Who can actually say they have not hit the snooze button repeatedly because five more minutes is more tempting than reading the Psalms? Actually, the Psalms are beautiful songs to begin the day with. Ever heard of this song, "The Heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork? (Psalm 18)" What better way to start your morning than singing to our Creator!

The TERCE is the third hour prayed at 9 AM commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles as tongues of fire. This is really the hour is occurred as mentioned in the Bible in Acts 2:15. At this hour, also, our Lord was condemned. Here we ask for the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He provides guidance in situations we might encounter such as a dead car battery and accidents or even serious decisions concerning your future. Think of this hour as your Wheaties Cereal for the day.

The SEXT is the sixth hour prayed around noon commemorating our Lord Jesus Christ's crucifixion. As mentioned in John 19:14, the crucifixion really did occur at the sixth hour. This time we ask forgiveness of our sins as we recognize His sacrifice for our salvation.

The NONE is the ninth hour prayed at 3 PM commemorating the death of our Lord in the flesh upon the tree and the testimony of the thief at His right hand. As viewed in Matthew 26:46, Jesus cried to His Father in this hour and soon afterward He dies. We ask to be accepted like the right-hand thief was.

The VESPERS are the eleventh hour prayed at 5 PM commemorating the removal of the Body of Christ from the Cross and wrapping Him in linen. Here we thank God for keeping us through the day and bringing us to the evening.


The COMPLINE is the twelfth hour prayed an hour later at 6 PM commemorating the burial of our Lord. It is the last hour of the daily life of man, since sleep is a "small death." We now remember ourselves and our state of being, and ask for our salvation.

The VEIL is the prayer prayed daily in the monasteries, after the COMPLINE and before the MIDNIGHT.

The MIDNIGHT prayers are based on the three prayers of the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemani. The FIRST WATCH concerns the second coming of Christ with the story of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The SECOND WATCH concerns our sins and God's love and forgiveness for us (Luke 7:36-50). The THIRD WATCH reminds us to be watchful and always to await the coming of the Lord (Luke 12:32-46). The prayers end with pure comfort that we are ready to sleep even if it is the sleep of death.

The Gospels of every hour have a message. Even though you can read these at home, you probably will not get the full effect of the message as placed in each hour. In the PRIME, it is the beginning of everything as it is the beginning of the day. In the TERCE, it is the Holy Spirit and His work in us. In the SEXT, through the Sermon on the Mount, we learn how to live a Christian life. The NONE gives the blessings through the five loaves and two fish. The VESPERS ask for the healing of our sicknesses. The COMPLINE concerns our preparation for departure from this world since you are preparing to sleep. VEIL'S Gospel is of Christ walking on water, reminding us that He saves His people even in the darkness of night. MIDNIGHT Gospels concern the Second Coming with a preparation for the Heavenly Wedding in the FIRST WATCH, weeping for our sins in the SECOND WATCH as the adulteress, and watching and praying in the THIRD WATCH for the Master. All these messages are reminders to consciously shape each day as a Christian.

The Psalms of every hour are usually twelve in number with some exceptions. The psalms concern prayer and supplications to God about issues we may forget in personal prayer. The psalms revolve around thanks-giving, asking mercy, asking help, repentance, and praises. The psalms are beautiful and cover all types of your moods.

If you feel helpless and in trouble, Psalm 69 is a cry to the Lord to "make haste." If you feel the Lord has forgotten you, "How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? (Psalm 12). If you need a time of praise, "Praise the Lord!"(Psalm112). "Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! (Psalm 46)" Psalm's 145, 146, and 147 are also psalms of praise. If you want to cry to God, "I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord, I make my supplication"(Psalm 141). No matter what you are experiencing, there is a psalm for the emotion. King David was a man like us and lived the life cycle of this world where he saw good days and bad days. With these psalms, he expressed his emotions to God and the psalms also help us to do likewise.

We can never say "Kyrie Eleison" enough. We have sinned and continue to live lives full of sin in this world. We struggle and face the Lord crying to Him with these sins embracing our minds saying in eeach hour, "Lord have mercy" forty-one times. Thrity-nine of these correspond to the flogging which the Lord sustained; the remaining two correspond to the Crown of Thorns and the piercing of the side of the Lord.

The AGPEYA is a complete prayer. It covers all hours and all types of petitions we have for the Lord. You can only win by praying through this book. It may seem burdensome, but slowly it can become a powerful connection to God. It is a constant conversation with Him through your day. Keep Him in your life now and at the Judgement Day He will say to you, "I know you because you have known Me."