Opening prayers of Vespers

Vespers and other services normally open with certain introductory prayers. When two or more services are grouped together, as for instance when the ninth hour is immediately followed by vespers, the needed introductory prayers are provided in the service of the ninth hour; otherwise they are included at the beginning of vespers itself. The service of the all-night vigil (vespers followed by matins) is prefaced and introduced by little vespers, which in turn is normally introduced by the ninth hour as just described.