Happy New Liturgical Year!!!
Unfortunately, we are not able to organize sung Vespers at St. Monica and St. Blaise this season. With praying Vespers during Advent and Lent for the past 3 years, I’m going to miss coming together to chant the psalms, along with meditating on the O Antiphons in preparation for the birth of Our Lord. I hope that we will be able to resume again in Lent.
The good news is that with Vespers (and the rest of the Liturgy of the Hours) being the prayer of the whole Church, you are not alone in your prayer even if you are in the privacy of your own home. There are many very helpful tools available if you would like to include Vespers (or the other “hours”) in your Advent prayer life. Here are some that you might want to check out:
On the radio:
WAOB 106.7 FM – Morning Prayer @ 7:15am, Evening Prayer @ 5:30pm (M-F), 7:25pm (Sat-Sun)
Monastery Podcast – by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Missouri, they post Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) each day.
Praying the Liturgy of the Hours Podcast – a series of discussions exploring aspects of the prayer, by Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V.
Laudate – a free app with the daily readings, Liturgy of the Hours, and plenty of prayers. The translations are not the official (Grail) translation due to copyright issues, which means that a person under obligation to pray the hours (Priests/Religious) is not be able to use the LOTH from this app.
Universalis – this app has a small fee (though I believe the first month is a free trial), but it provides the official translation along with other features. It is essentially the Laudate app, but better.
IBreviary – another very good app with the official translation. I believe you need to download the information each day, so you will also have to remember to delete it afterwards in order to not use up all the space on your phone or tablet.
Books – the hard copy is a little more difficult at first, but it offers a deeper understanding of the structure of the prayer (plus, you don’t have to worry about the battery or internet connection). Here are two options:
4 Volume Breviary – in addition to Morning/Evening Prayer, this offers the Office of Readings and Common of Saints. This would be a good investment if you are already comfortable praying with the apps or the Christian Prayer book. Here is another article (from the same author) with tips to get started.
I hope you find these resources helpful.
A bit of good news: there will be a Missa Cantata (Sung Extraordinary Form Mass) at St. Blaise on Friday, Dec 13th at 7pm. I will be posting information later this week if you would like to take part in the schola.
Lastly, the Marian Antiphon for the season of Advent is the Alma Redemporis Mater – here is a practice video to refresh your memory:
Have a great Advent!