Matins is a principal hour of the daily liturgical cycle. As celebrated in the Byzantine Rite, it combines:
- A service of prayer for rulers and those in authority. This office is usually omitted in parish celebrations.
- A nocturnal vigil consisting of psalms and Scripture readings
- A service of praise, including Psalms 148-`50 and the hymn “Glory to God in the Highest”.
Matins has three principal themes: repentance for our sins and offenses; meditation on the history of salvation, and praise of God. On Sundays, hymns are added which focus on the Resurrection of Christ and the events that surround it. On feast days, hymns for the feast are sung, and the icon of the feast may be enthroned and venerated.
Matins for Sundays and feasts may be combined with Vespers or Compline to form the All-Night Vigil.
Adapted from: www.metropolitancantorinstitute.org