Morning and Evening Prayer
Morning prayer and evening prayer are “hours” taken from the Liturgy of the Hours, which is also known as the Divine Office. The Liturgy of the Hours (which is obligatory for Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and consecrated persons) is “the prayer of the entire Church…Those taking part in [it] have access to holiness of the richest kind …The readings are drawn from Sacred Scripture, God’s words in the psalms are sung in His presence, and the intercessions, prayers, and hymns are steeped in the inspired language of Scripture.” (from the “Preface” of Shorter Christian Prayer)
Starting with the 1st Thursday in Lent (Feb. 7), Blessed Sacrament Church invites all to pray Morning Prayer immediately after the 6:30 a.m. Mass (at approximately 7:00 am) in communal thanksgiving for the Eucharist, and to pray Evening Prayer at 6:45 pm, immediately before the 7:00 pm Mass, as communal preparation for the Mass. We will gather in the center pews of the church, using a volume called Shorter Christian Prayer, which will be available in the church. Parishioners familiar with it will be on hand to lead the prayer. Those preferring quiet prayer are welcome to remain or may choose to pray in the Eucharistic chapel.
Both Morning and Evening Prayer include a Psalmody in which 3 Psalms are prayed aloud. Verses are alternated between the 2 sides of the aisle. This echoes the Jewish tradition in which those making their pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem would call out a Psalm verse to those already inside the Temple doors, and those inside would respond with the next verse.
The Psalmody is followed a reading and a responsory. Morning prayer then follows with the Canticle of Zechariah while Evening Prayer continues with the Canticle of Mary. Both hours continue with Intercessions, the Our Father, and Concluding Prayer.
Both Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer typically take 10-15 minutes.
For more information on the Liturgy of the Hours, click on one of the links below: