Join the Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory every Sunday at 5:00pm for sung Vespers.
Vespers is the evening prayer of the Church and comes from the Divine Office, which is the official prayer book of the Church. From the very beginning of Christianity, Christians would sing or chant the psalms as the model of prayer to God. As time went on this form of prayer was given a set structure which led to the Divine Office. When we, as baptised Christians and members of the Body of Christ which is the Church, pray the Divine Office, we pray united as the Church for our redemption and in praise and honour of God. The Divine Office, or breviary as it is also called, with set prayers for different times throughout the day, sanctifies all the hours of the day.
The Church has long encouraged the public recitation of Vespers and the participation of the laity. Pius XII wrote that “ it is greatly to be desired that the laity participate in reciting or chanting vespers sung in their own parish on feast days.” Likewise the Second Vatican Council encouraged Vespers especially on Sunday’s: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts.”
On Sunday we are called to sanctify the Lord’s Day in a special way, which means we are to not only assist at Mass, but also to dedicate this day to God in other ways such as spending time in prayer. The Church greatly encourages the laity to participate in such evening devotions in order to more fully sanctify the Lord’s Day (Mediator Dei, 150). Since the hour of Vespers is a prayer of thanksgiving for all God has given us, it is a fitting way to end our Sunday.