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Evening Prayer


Welcome to the Liturgy of the Hours Evening Prayer for Friday of the Twenty-Third week in Ordinary Time. The worship aid for tonight’s prayer is below. If you would like to pray along with us, it will help if you can print it or view it on another device. Or you can simply enter into an attitude of prayer and listen. What follows is a brief explanation of how we’re going to actually pray. First what IS Evening Prayer?




What is Evening Prayer?


Evening Prayer is one of the seven different prayers which make up the Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours is simply the prayers the Universal Church lifts up to God every day at regular times throughout the day. These prayers are called the Office of Readings and Morning, Daytime, Evening, and Night prayers. The content of the prayers come primarily from Scripture, especially the Psalms. Priests are required to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, but it is a rich and simple way to enrich your own prayer life right where you are at home. It does not need the presence of an ordained priest or deacon, yet it connects all of us, lay and ordained, in one offering of prayer to God. All the prayers can be found in a bound volume called Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours, or in several different free apps like iBreviary or on the website www.liturgies.net.




How do you pray?


In a group setting each Prayer is meant to be prayed with two choirs or groups of people back and forth. We will demonstrate that here tonight as Stephen, Mary Kaye and I take different parts. You will see the sections of prayers divided into the left and right of the room on the worship aid. If you are praying it with your spouse or family you can pray it as a call and response like we are doing here. However you can pray this entirely by yourself anywhere. There are parts of the prayers that remain the same throughout the liturgical year and parts that change with the day or liturgical season. If you want to start praying the Liturgy of the Hours at home, you might begin with just one of the prayers, like Evening Prayer.




Light in the dark, comfort and strength


So tonight we, as Church, gather in the evening to give thanks for the day that is ending. In the earliest tradition, this began with the lighting of the lamps as darkness fell and with the hymn of praise of Christ who is “radiant Light…of God the Father’s deathless face.” The evening psalms bring the day just past to focus for the Christian. And the words the Blessed Mother Mary proclaimed in her Magnificat are always a part of Evening Prayer which we will sing with MaryKaye tonight: "God has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly...God has remembered the promise of mercy, the promise made to our ancestors.” (from Luke chapter 1) Prayers of intercession are almost always part of the Church’s liturgy, but those which conclude Evening Prayer are especially important. As day ends, and especially on this day as we remember those who died in the attacks of 9/11, the Church again and again lifts up to God the needs and sorrows and failures of all the world. Such intercession is the daily task and joy of the baptized. If the Church is the Bride of Christ, then the Liturgy of the Hours is her continual song of love and faith to her Groom, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It illumines, comforts and strengthens through all the seasons of the Church and life. If the Church is the Body of Christ, then the Liturgy of the Hours is His prayer into which we now enter.