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canonical hour

noun
1.
Ecclesiastical. any of certain periods of the day set apart for prayer and devotion: these are matins and lauds, prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers, and compline.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for canonical hours

canonical hour

noun
1.
(RC Church)
  1. one of the seven prayer times appointed for each day by canon law
  2. the services prescribed for these times, namely matins, prime, terce, sext, nones, vespers, and compline
2.
(Church of England) any time between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at which marriages may lawfully be celebrated
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for canonical hours

in music, settings of the public prayer service (divine office) of the Roman Catholic Church, divided into Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. The early monastic communities composed a complete series of hours for morning, noon, and evening; cathedral and parish churches had incorporated all the hours by the 8th century, and by the 9th century the structure was fixed

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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