Vespers: the image is of monks or nuns singing beautiful chant that lifts the mind and heart to God in the evening heavens. But Vespers is so much more — it’s the name of one of the ‘hours’ of prayer of the worldwide Church. The word hour isn’t correct because Vespers and other prayer components of the Liturgy of the Hours take only 10 or 15 minutes depending upon which one you are doing.
As a deacon, the Church has requested me to pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer each day. I am 98% faithful to that commitment. And very early on in my formation as a deacon, dear wife Dee and I started doing Evening Prayer together. It has changed my life; it has changed our marriage, and I recommend any couple to try it. I’ll say that it wasn’t natural or normal when we started — don’t worry about it. Over time, we loosened up and now we pray back and forth, doing the Psalms or Canticles of the day. We do our best to remember prayer intentions that others have given to us, or ones we want to remember.
Okay – enough about Tom and Dee. This podcast show on Vespers is really made so beneficial and helpful by our time spent with Daria Sockey. She is a Catholic writer, mother of 7, recovering homeschooler, and by her admission, a conservative: Go Pope Benedict!
Daria Sockey is a freelance writer and veteran of the large family/homeschooling scene. She recently returned home from a three-year experiment in full time outside employment. (Hallelujah!) Daria authored several of the original Faith&Life Catechetical Series student texts (Ignatius Press). Daria is also a (perhaps monthly) contributing columnist at the Faith and Family Live website.
Due to her years of personal prayer, Daria launched her regular blog Coffee and Canticles in order to share her love for the Divine Office and to make other random, but very clever and faith-infused observations about all sorts of stuff. After thirty years of marriage and parenthood, Daria still does not feel qualified to be that wise, experienced, mentoring type. But if any younger moms want to ask her advice, she’ll try to fake it.From Daria’s Blog
The Divine Office aka Liturgy of the Hours aka the Breviary is a collection of daily psalms, prayers, and scripture readings that has been part of the Church’s liturgical prayer life almost from it’s very beginnings. It is prayed at morning, midday, evening, night, plus one other “floating hour” that can be done at any time. Many people only pray one or two of the liturgical hours each day rather than all five. The two principle hours are Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, and these are what the Church recommends to lay people above all the others. (Don’t let the term “hours” scare you. It only takes a few minutes to recite each one.)
The prayers of the Divine Office rotate in a four week cycle throughout the year, with additional variations for the liturgical seasons and/or feast days. Although long perceived to be the territory of religious and clergy, the Divine Office is strongly recommended by the Church to us lay people.
I have been praying the Divine Office for many years. The purpose of this blog is to encourage and teach people to pray it, and to share some of the spiritual treasures I find in its pages every day.
SITES MENTIONED DURING OUR PODCAST
iBreviary.com – a (free) Liturgy of the Hours (LOH) application (APP) available for a number of platforms
divineoffice.org a (pay for) LOH APP which has won many awards
universalis.com another APP mentioned/recommended by Daria during our interview