Definition of canonical hours in US English:

canonical hours

plural noun

  • 1The times of daily Christian prayer appointed in the breviary.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 The offices set for canonical hours, namely matins with lauds, prime, terce, sext, nones, vespers, and compline.