For the past few weeks, every Monday night, I have been blessed to be a part of singing Vespers and Compline (Night Prayer) in my parish, with the Brothers of the Little Oratory. Granted, I have not been blessed with a singing voice in the least and feel I am a hinder to them rather then special add. LOL But they are most definitely a blessing to our parish and to me.
For my readers who do not know what vespers are, even Vatican II stressed the importance of every Catholic praying the Liturgy of the Hours or otherwise known as Divine Office. Please check out the link HERE. Litergy of the Hours is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. Upon ordination to the Diaconate, the daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours becomes a canonical obligation. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.
The Liturgy of the Hours, along with the Eucharist, has formed part of the Catholic Church’s public worship from the earliest times.
Praying Vespers on Monday Night is an absolute treat to my soul. Although, I do pray the Divine Office daily. It is prayed in Gregorian Chant, completely in Latin. Last night was the first night I let go of my inhibitions and sung without fear. I have to admit I have never been able to carry a tone but with the help of this group, and the Holy Spirit, I am working on that. As I was praying last night, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I used to do as a very young child. When I was about four or five, in my parents basement, there was a metal bookcase. More like a utility cabinet that kept books. In it, were my older sisters school books and one of them was the Liturgy of the Hours. I used to take it out and try to read it. Never knowing what it was. I used to ponder about how hard it was to be “Big”. To have to learn all this new stuff. I would sit and stare at the Latin and the voice notes and wonder when I would be able to read them and understand them. I never knew what it was or what it meant. One day, my older sister came home and seen me flipping through the book and said something on the order of “Your Reading Gregorian Chant now? I’ll believe its a miracle when you actually start singing it”. And walked away.
Well??? Here we are. Forty one years later and look! I’m singing Gregorian Chat, the Divine Office, and the glory goes to God.
EDIT TO ADD:
I have to mention the school my older sisters attended was Mother Théodore Guérin High School. Saint Mother Théodore Guérin (1798 – 1856), designated by the Vatican as Saint Theodora, is the foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, a congregation of Catholic nuns. After a standard process of approval within the church often referred to as a “cause for sainthood,” she was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 1998 and finally canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic church on October 15, 2006, by Pope Benedict XVI.
Thank you for your intercession Saint Theodora. I truly understand how serious our Lord’s intrest is, in my soul and every soul on earth.