Our sanctification is accomplished and worship is offered to God in the Liturgy of the Hours in such a way that an exchange or dialogue is set up between God and us, in which “God is speaking to his people … and his people are responding to him by both song and prayer.”
—General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours, or the Divine Office, is the consecration of the day by Christ and his Mystical Body, the Church, by prayer and praise—”readings are drawn from sacred Scripture, God’s words in the psalms are sung in his presence, and the intercessions, prayers, and hymns are inspired by Scripture and steeped in its spirit.”* “The liturgy of the hours, like other liturgical services, is not a private matter but belongs to the whole Body of the Church”; it is an official, public, common prayer of the Church.
Each Wednesday night at 5:30pm (30 minutes before our Weekly Dinner and Program) AVL|CCM celebrates Sung Evening Prayer, or Vespers, from the Liturgy of Hours. The psalms are chanted using simple Psalm Tones (you can listen to the Psalm Tones used, here).
How long does it take?
Praying Evening Prayer in song takes about 15 to 20 minutes. We’ll be finished before dinner is served.
What if I’ve never prayed the Liturgy of the Hours before?
Don’t worry! We have prayer books (psalters) available at the CCM House, and brief instruction is given for any newcomers. Follow along as best you can; it’s not complicated. Its rhythm and routine soon become familiar. Speaking of rhythm…
What if I can’t sing?
Don’t worry! The psalms are chanted (in English) in simple tones that are easy to pick up. This is not a choral performance, so no one is expecting professionally trained voices. The most important thing is that you are adding your prayers to those of the Church. Chanting our prayers elevates our words to something beyond our ordinary speaking voices and serves to remind us of the sacred character of the scripture, which is the Word of God.
Praying with us on Wednesday evenings is a wonderful mid-week boost to your spiritual life. Please consider coming to CCM just half an hour before dinner to start our evening together with this beautiful and rich prayer of the Church.
*all quotes are from The General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours (GILH)