Join the St. Joseph College Seminarians for Solemn Vespers

Solemn Vespers take place at St. Ann Catholic Church, 3635 Park Road, Charlotte at 5:30pm
2018
November 18 December 9
December 2 December 16
2019
January 27 March 31
February 10 April 14 (Palm Sunday)
February 24 April 28
March 3 May 12
(final vespers of school year)
March 10

About Solemn Vespers

The Liturgy of the Hours is the heartbeat of the Church. Observed worldwide by religious communities, priests, and the laity, this cyclical Office is prayed seven times a day. When one prays this Liturgy, they join the worldwide community in praising God through the same psalms and hymns.

A Simple Breakdown of Solemn Vespers

Vespers is one of the more robust Hours of the Liturgy. It is prayed in the following format:
Opening Antiphon:
Nearly every hour opens with this beautiful petition: “Oh God, come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me.” This is followed by the Gloria Patri.
The Hymn:
An appropriate hymn from the current liturgical season is sung.
The Psalmody:
A psalm, a biblical canticle, and another psalm are sung. Each is followed by the Gloria Patri, and bookended by an antiphon. Additionally, each psalm may be followed by a short meditative prayer.
The Reading:
A biblical passage is read, often followed by a few moments of silence for meditation.
The Responsory:
Consists of a verse, a response, the first half of the Gloria Patri, and the response again.
The Magnificat:
While the psalms are a majority of the prayer, the Gospel canticles are recited daily. Every day during Vespers, the Magnificat is sung. During solemn Vespers, the altar is incensed during this time.
Intercessory Prayers:
Each day includes about five intercessions. These change throughout the week, and there are special sets of intercessions for feast days.
Our Father:
The words recited by Our Lord are prayed daily.
Closing Prayer and Final Blessing:
In the seminary, Vespers is often followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
While the details may sound overwhelming, the act of praying Vespers contains a peaceful rhythm. As a whole, the pieces of the prayer are an extended hymn of praise to God which includes moments of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication.