Vespers for Monday, Dec 18

The Dominican nuns of Summit, New Jersey have made a video of vespers for tonight. Not perfect (they’re very apologetic about that) but perfectly lovely, and I hope they share more of this with us. They sounded like angels to me as they sang the second of what are known as the O Antiphons, which we chant in the last week of Advent, as the antiphon just prior to the chanting of the Magnificat. These antiphons are especially beautiful. They started yesterday with the O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Today is O Adonai.

After you’ve checked out the ladies in black and white, if you feel inclined to pray Evening Prayer – or Vespers – here’s how it goes. I prayed it earlier at Adoration, but somewhere in the world, it’s still time for Vespers! Enjoy!

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.

Hymn of the season

Psalmody
Antiphon 1: The Lord, the ruler over the kings of the earth, will come; blessed are they who are ready to go and welcome him.

Psalm 123
To you I have lifted up my eyes,
you who dwell in the heavens:
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves
on the hand of their lords.

Like the eyes of a servant
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God
till he show us his mercy

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich,
with the proud man’s disdain.

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.

Psalm prayer: Father in heaven, we lift our eyes to you and pray: confound the scorn of the proud and graciously show us your mercy.

Antiphon 2: Sing a new song to the Lord; proclaim his praises to the ends of the earth.

Psalm 124
“If the Lord had not been on our side,”
this is Israel’s song.
“If the Lord had not been on our side
when men rose against us
then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger was kindled.

Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters.”

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped
from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed, the snare has been broken
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

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.

Psalm-prayer: Lord Jesus, you foretold that your disciples would be despised on account of your name, but that not a hair on their heads is ever forgotten. In times of persecution, defend and revive us by the power and comfort of the Holy Spirit, so that we can be freed from our enemies and praise your saving help.

Antiphon 3: When the Son of Man comes to earth do you think he will find faith in men’s hearts?

Canticle – Ephesians 1:3-10
Praised be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed upon us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him
before the world began
to be holy
and blameless in his sight.

HE predestined us
to be his adopted sons and daughters through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure
that all might praise the glorious favor
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have bee
redeemed
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him,
in the heavens and on earth.

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.

Reading – Philippians 4:4-7:
Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice! Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.

Responsory
Lord, show us your mercy and love
– Lord show us your mercy and love
And grant us your salvation
– your mercy and love
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.

Antiphon:
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free

Magnificat – Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

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.

Intercessory Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayer
All-powerful God,
renew us by the coming feast of your Son
and free us from our slavery to sin.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
on God, forever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Lots of Glory Be’s in there, eh? There’s a joke the Benedictines like to tell: Once there was a monk who died and went to heaven and saw Christ. He said to Jesus, “am I dead?” Jesus said, “yep. You’re dead. This is heaven.” The monk said, “well, what to do do now?” Jesus shrugged and smiled and said, “go to choir, I guess!”

The job of the monastics in praying the Diviine Office, the Opus Dei, is to unite our praise on earth to the heavenly praises of the angels and the elect in heaven. The “Work of God,” absolutely.

About Elizabeth Scalia

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