Evening Prayer as a Community Beginning December 10 at 6:30 pm in the Cathedral
Evening Prayer is also called Vespers, and is part of the Liturgy of the Hours. “The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office…is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. It is a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer. At times the dialogue is between the Church or individual and God; at times it is a dialogue among the members of the Church; and at times it is even between the Church and the world.” (CCC 1177) Through the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church fulfills Jesus’ command to “pray always.” The most important time for this prayer is considered to be in the morning and the evening.
Those who are ordained or live a consecrated life in the Catholic Church pray the Liturgy of the Hours each day, keeping God at the center of their lives. The laity are also encouraged to join in this prayer, particularly Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. While it may be prayed individually, many parishes in the United States include communal Morning Prayer and/or Evening Prayer as part of their liturgical life.
Beginning the second Thursday of Advent, December 10, 2020, the Cathedral will continue its tradition of Adoration on Thursdays after the 12:05 pm Mass and now will offer Evening Prayer beginning at 6:30 pm followed by Benediction at 6:50 pm and the Sacrament of Reconciliation at 7:00 pm.
Below is a video that describes the history of Evening Prayer and what occurs during the 30 minute prayer time.
In Evening Prayer, the primary focus is on giving thanks to God for the day and making an “evening sacrifice of praise” to God. (See Psalm 141:1.) We pray for mercy and forgiveness, and we pray for peace. Typically, there is a hymn that acknowledges the light of Christ in our lives, psalmody, scripture, intercessions and praying together the Lord’s Prayer. Another important element of Vespers is the Gospel Canticle, or the Canticle of Mary, which is also known as the Magnificat. It is the words of Mary, prophet, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, coming from Luke 1:26-55. It is prayed (recited or sung) with the reverence due the Gospel.
Evening Prayer is a special time to reflect, rejoice and refresh ourselves in Christ’s mercy and peace in the company of brothers and sisters in the Lord. Parishioners of all ages are encouraged to attend as a prayerful way to mark together the season of Advent and renew our focus of our life in Christ.