Byzantine time


Time lapse example: in Jan 2005, Monastery
Grigoriou was 6½ hours ahead of civil time


On Mount Athos the Byzantine calendar is followed and because it is 13 days behind the normal Western calendar, every festivity (except Easter which is a moveable feast) is celebred 13 days later. Christmas, for example, occurs December 25th in Rome and Athens, but on Athos January 7th [read more on calendars].

In addition, daily life is regulated by Byzantine time, which means that at sun set the clocks are reset to 0:00 and a new day begins. With seasonal changes, time lapses from one to six/seven hours occur.

For the cenobitic form, the day begins with a service in the katholikon (singing psalms and prayers) that lasts about three hours. Prayer is followed by the divine liturgy of about one and a half hours. On Saturday, morning services last for about 6 hours. Aftermoon Vespers (Esperinos) last for about 1½ hours, and the evening Compline (Aprodipnos) about 45 minutes. Thus, daily prayers in church average 7 to 9 hours. Before the feasts of the Saints there is a night vigil (Agripnia) followed by Mass, tht may last for 10 hours. [read more on the liturgical circle].

Division of time in the liturgical circle

based on sun set at 6:00 pm

Civil time Byzantine time Liturgical circle
18 sunset
0
compline, new day begins
19
1
rest
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24 midnight
~ 6:30
Individual prayer in cell
1
7:30
first talanto
2
7:45
second talanto
3
8
third talanto, Mesonychtikon begins
4
 
5
11
Divine liturgy
6 sunrise
12
to the refectory
7
1
rest
8
 
9
3
daily chores
10
 
11
 
12 noon
 
13
8:30
first talanto
14
8:45
second talanto
15
9
third talanto, 9th hour begins
16
10
Vesper begins
17
11:30
to the refectory
18 sunset
12
compline, new day begins

Mount Athos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maps

Some materials by courtesy of Zbigniew
Kosc, Agion-oros. orthodoxy.ru, Alexia
Amvrazi Chalkidiki.com, inathos.gr,
Macedonian-heritage.gr,
Monachos. net, MountAthos.gr,
newadvent. org/cathen,
Ouranopoli.com, Techni Editions

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