The Liturgy of the Hours also known as the “Divine Office” is, following the Mass, the most important prayer of the Church. Priests, deacons and religious are bound to pray it every day, but the Laity are also highly encouraged to unite their voices and intentions to those of the whole Church in this prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours is prayed continually by Catholics throughout the world. At any given time someone will be praying this beautiful prayer which purpose is to sanctify the day and the whole range of human activity. Morning Prayer (Lauds) and Evening Prayer (Vespers), the two main hours, are accorded the highest importance. Before the Second Vatican Council it was not unusual to see many parishes celebrating Sunday Vespers; and while, in our diocese, it has fallen out of normal parish life, the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, is very intentional in calling us to pray with and for the Church in this way. In fact, it states: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts…” (100) In following this call of the Church we here at St. Thérèse the Little Flower have begun to celebrate Solemn Vespers with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on the major Solemnities of the Church.
Our next Solemn Vespers will be during the season of Lent.