Definition of canonical hours in English:

canonical hours

plural noun

  • 1The times of daily Christian prayer appointed in the breviary, or the offices set for them (namely matins with lauds, prime, terce, sext, nones, vespers, and compline).

    • ‘During the daily and nightly recitation of the canonical hours (which did not involve lay participation), screens protected the ecclesiastical communities from chill and drafts.’
    • ‘Because they were not spaced equally apart, the canonical hours provided a concept of time that, in addition to changing throughout the year and from location to location, did not flow evenly as modern time does.’
    • ‘At first the bells marked the six canonical hours and the eight hours of the Virgin.’
    • ‘She ignores the canonical hours and her Spiritual Father because she is too busy rummaging for food to feed the poor from her soup kitchen.’
    • ‘According to Isaac Walton, Herbert daily read the offices of morning and evening prayer ‘at the canonical hours of ten and four’ with his wife and three nieces.’
  • 2(in the Church of England) the time during which a marriage may lawfully be celebrated (usually between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.).