The time of day appointed for this service, traditionally midnight or 2 am but often sunrise.
Origin of Matins
Middle English matines from Old French from Medieval Latin (vigiliae) mātūtīnae morning (vigils) feminine pl. of Latin mātūtīnus of the morning from Mātūta goddess of dawn mā-1 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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