OPPORTUNITIES FOR VESPERS AT SAINT ANN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Sundays in Advent and Lent at 6:00pm in the Church.

 

Vespers, also called Evening Prayer, takes place as dusk begins to fall. Evening Prayer gives thanks for the day just past and makes an evening sacrifice of praise to God (Psalm 141:1).

The general structure of the Roman Rite Catholic service of vespers is as follows:

  • Vespers opens with the singing or chanting of the words Deus, in adiutorium meum intende. Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Alleluia. (O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.) ("Alleluia" is omitted during Lent.)
  • The appointed hymn (from the hymnarium) is then sung;
  • The appointed psalmody is then sung: in the liturgy in general use since 1970 there are two psalms and a New Testament canticle, while in the older form of the Roman Rite, five psalms are sung instead. Each psalm (and canticle) concludes with a doxology (Gloria Patri) and is preceded and followed by an antiphon. Additionally, most Psalms also have a short caption explaining how the Psalm/Canticle relates to the Church in a Christological or spiritual way; lastly, English translations oftentimes have a psalm-prayer said after the Gloria and before the antiphon.
  • After the psalms, there is a reading from the Bible.
  • Following the reading, there is a short responsory consisting of a verse, a response, the first half only of the Gloria Patri, and then the verse again.
  • Then the participants sing the Magnificat — the canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Gospel of Luke 1:46-55. The Magnificat is always preceded by an antiphon, and followed by the Gloria and an antiphon. At Solemn Vespers, the Altar is incensed during the Magnificat.
  • The preces (intercessory prayers) are then said (in the post-1970 Roman Rite), followed by the Our Father, and then the closing prayer (oratio) and final blessing/invocation.
  • The office is frequently followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
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