Prime (Lat. prima, the first—i.e. hour), the first of the so-called "lesser hours" of the Roman Breviary (q.v.). It may be called the public morning prayer (of that Church, and corresponds in substance with the morning service of the other ancient liturgies, allowance being made for Latin peculiarities. Prime commences with the beautiful hymn of Prudentius. Joam luais oato sidere, which is followed by three and occasionally four psalms (22, 26:54, 118); but the last portion consists of the opening verses of the 118th (in the A.V. the 159, 1-3-2) Psalm, which is continued throughout the rest of the "lesser hours." Prime concludes with prayers appropriate to the beginning of a Christian's day. See Procter, Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer, p. 187. SEE CANONICAL HOURS.

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