Third Hour Prayers
The Third Hour Prayer is a fairly short prayer service. It is done at our mission to help people get into a more worshipful frame of mind for the upcoming Divine Liturgy. The term third here refers to being about three hours from the beginning of the day. The day is assumed to start around six in the morning.
For people who want to go to confession, the priest usually hears confessions during the Third Hour Prayers.
Divine Liturgy is the primary worship service in the Orthodox Church. It is during the Divine Liturgy that the central act of Orthodox worship happens: Holy Communion.
In an Orthodox parish with a priest, or more than one priest in residence, the service of Divine Liturgy would happen every Sunday and also on some major non-Sunday feast days, such as Ascension.
Vespers is a prayer service that happens in the early evening. Vespers is considered to be the first service of the day because the liturgical (worship) day is assumed to begin at sundown.
In Orthodox Churches that have a Saturday Vespers service, it is considered to be an important service to help people better prepare spiritually for the Divine Liturgy service the next morning.
Traditionally, people go to confession after the Saturday vespers service. In our mission we usually only have a priest on the Saturday vespers before the first Sunday of the month. Confession can be heard after this first vespers because a priest in present, but not at the other vespers during the month.