NOCTURNE – Nocturne is the midnight service of the Church. In monasteries it usually begins the all-night vigil of the monks. It contains a number of psalms together with the normal prayers found in other services, such as the call to worship, the Thrice-Holy, the Our Father, the Troparion, etc. Its theme is obviously the night and the need for vigilance.
In the parishes, it is known almost exclusively as the service preceding Easter Matins at which the winding-sheet depicting the dead Saviour is taken from the tomb and is placed on the altar table.