Four themes figure prominently within the spiritual journey -- the journey of salvation -- of every believer. They are: creation, fall, redemption, and eschaton, or last things. While these themes recur constantly throughout the various prayers and hymns of all services, they are especially evident in four particular parts of the services of vespers and of matins (orthos) indicated in the outlines:
Lord, I Call
O Gladsome Light
is the Lord
Song of Symeon
||Praises (Psalms 148-150)|
The liturgical cycle of the whole day is framed by the theme of Creation, which appears at the start of vespers and again at the end of matins. Praise of God is the highest form of prayer, and the contemplation of the works of creation prompts the glorification of the Creator. The themes of Fall, Redemption, and Eschaton are found in sequence within vespers and again in matins.
To repeat, these themes are not limited to the above-named parts of the services. For example, at matins the Six Psalms express not only the theme of Fall but also that of Redemption; the same is true of Psalm 50(51) which is recited midway through the service.