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
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