CHAPTER 17 - The Number of Psalms to be sung at these hours.

Three Psalms are to be said at Prime, each followed by the Doxology. The hymn of this hour is sung after the opening versicle, “O God, come to my assistance (Ps 70:2).”

John Cassian (ca 360-435) was one of the foundation figures of Western monasticism. He was a bridge between the tradition of the desert mothers and fathers of the East and the style of Western monasticism which found its clearest written forms in the Rule of the Master and the Rule of Saint Benedict.

For Cassian the phrase “O God, come to my assistance” is adaptable to every condition and useful in every temptation. The practice of repeated prayer has been the hallmark of Orthodox spirituality from John Climacus (ca 525-606) down to the practice of modern ascetics.

Consider repeating this prayer the first thing in the morning and continue praying it throughout the day. It may just help us to remember that everything is gift from God and that we do not do anything without God. God is our strength and our ever abiding help.