All-night vigil

For the musical setting by Rachmaninoff, see All-Night Vigil (Rachmaninoff)

The All-night vigil is a service of the Eastern Orthodox Church (and Eastern Catholic Church) consisting of an aggregation of the three canonical hours of Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour. The vigil is celebrated on the eves of Sundays and of major liturgical feasts.[1]

The vigil has been set to music most famously by Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose setting of selections from the service is one of his most admired works. Tchaikovsky's setting of the all-night vigil, along with his Divine Liturgy and his collection of nine sacred songs were of seminal importance in the later interest in Orthodox music in general, and settings of the all-night vigil in particular.[2][3][4] Other musical settings include those by Chesnokov, Grechaninov, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Alexander Kastalsky,[5] Hilarion Alfeyev, Clive Strutt and Einojuhani Rautavaara. It is most often celebrated using a variety of traditional or simplified chant melodies based on the Octoechos or other sources.


When celebrated at the All-night vigil, the orders of Great Vespers and Matins vary somewhat from when they are celebrated by themselves.[6][7] In parish usage, many portions of the service such as the readings from the Synaxarion during the Canon at Matins are abbreviated or omitted, and it therefore takes approximately two or two and a half hours to perform.

The Psalms cited below are numbered according to the Septuagint, which differs from that found in the Masoretic.

Great Vespers



  1. Dunlop, Carolyn C. (2000). Music of the Russian court chapel choir: 1796-1917. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-90-5755-026-3.
  2. The Cambridge History of Russia 2006, p. 115.
  3. Swain 2006, p. 212.
  4. Morozan 2013.
  5. Zvereva, Svetlana (2003). Alexander Kastalsky: His Life and Music. Translated by Stuart Campbell. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 124. ISBN 0-7546-0975-8.
  6. "The Order of Great Vespers". The Priest's Service Book. Diocese of the South. Archived from the original on 30 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
  7. "The Order of Matins on Sundays and Feast Days". The Priest's Service Book. Diocese of the South. Retrieved 2007-03-06.


External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/21/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.