Originally The Different Portions Of The Breviary Or Divine Office In The Roman Catholic And Greek Churches Canonical Hours, arranged for use at certain hours of the day, but not now strictly adhered to. According to the original custom, still preserved in some strict monastic orders, matins and lauds should be recited soon after midnight, prime early in the morning, tierce, sext, and none at 9, 12, and 3, vespers late in the afternoon, and compline in the evening. The usual custom is, however, both in the public singing or recitation of the office in choir, and in the private reading of it, to say matins and lauds on the preceding evening, the little hours at some convenient time in the morning, and vespers and compline at any time in the afternoon. The office is obligatory on clergymen in the major orders, the members of monastic communities, and those who hold benefices. It is chiefly composed of the psalter, and lessons from the Scriptures and the acts of the saints and martyrs, with hymns, versicles, and prayers interspersed. A great diversity of offices have been and are in use; the one generally used in the Catholic church of the West is the Roman breviary. - In the church of England canonical hours are from 8 to 12 o'clock in the morning, and during these hours only can legal marriages be performed in parish churches.