The Matins service of the Church unites the elements of morning psalmody and prayer with meditation on the Biblical canticles, the Gospel reading, and the particular theme of the day in the given verses and hymns. The themes of God's revelation and light are also always central to the morning service of the Church. Sometimes, particularly in churches of the Russian tradition, the matins and the vesper services are combined to form a long vigil service. On special feast days, the blessing of bread, wheat, wine, and oil is added to the Vespers, even when it is served separately from Matins. The faithful partake of the blessed fold and are anointed with the oil as a sign of God's mercy and grace.
The service of Vespers takes us through creation, sin, and salvation in Christ. It leads us to the meditation of God's word and the glorification of his love for men. It instructs us and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons whose memory is celebrated and made present to us in the Church. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come. On the eves of the Divine Liturgy, it begins our movement into the most perfect communion with God in the sacramental mysteries.
The Divine Liturgy is the common action of Orthodox Christians officially gathered to constitute the Orthodox Church. It is the action of the Church assembled by God in order to be together in one community to worship, to pray, to sing, to hear God's Word, to be instructed in God's commandments, to offer itself with thanksgiving in Christ to God the Father, and to have the living experience of God's eternal kingdom through communion with the same Christ Who is present in his people by the Holy Spirit.
The life of an Orthodox Christian is one of prayer. In Orthodox Tradition it is the person who truly prays that is a theologian and a God-seer. The purpose of all life is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to become one with Christ. As St Peter says in his letter , "To become partakers of the Divine Nature." In Orthodox Tradition that is known as theosis or in English it would be deification, and everything an Orthodox person does should be done to further that goal. The beginning of prayer is the realization that without the mercy of Our Lord, there is nothing. That all that I am, and all that I have is do to the Mercy of Our Lord Jesus. That is why we cry, "Lord have Mercy."