vespers


vespers
ves·pers also Ves·pers (vĕsʹpərz) pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a. The sixth of the seven canonical hours.
b. A worship service held in the late afternoon or evening in many Western Christian churches.
c. The time of day appointed for this service.
2. Evensong.
3. Roman Catholic Church. A service held on Sundays or holy days that includes the office of vespers.
  [Obsolete French vespres, from Old French, from Medieval Latin vesperās, evening service, from Latin, accusative pl. of vespera, evening, variant of vesper. See vesper.]

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▪ religious liturgy
      evening prayer of thanksgiving and praise in Roman Catholic and certain other Christian liturgy. Vespers and lauds (morning prayer) are the oldest and most important of the traditional liturgy of the hours. Many scholars believe vespers is based on Judaic forms of prayer and point to a daily evening celebration observed among Jews in the first century before Christ.

      By the 3rd century, the writings of Tertullian show clear evidence of an evening prayer. During the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries, cathedral choirs and monastic orders developed the vespers service, as it was known for centuries thereafter. Following the second Vatican Council (Vatican Council, Second) (1962–65) the Roman Catholic service was translated into the vernacular and simplified, but it continues to revolve around the Magnificat canticle, various psalms and antiphons, and readings that vary according to liturgical season.

      The Lutheran and the Episcopal churches both include an evening prayer service in their liturgies. In the Episcopal Church (Episcopal Church in the United States of America), evening prayer traditionally was called evensong, and can be found in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer. Both Protestant churches revised their rite for evening prayer during the 1970s and both rites are patterned closely after the traditional Roman Catholic evening prayer. In the Episcopal Church, the revised prayers offer alternative choices for greater individual choice among congregations.

      An early name for vespers is lucernarium, literally “lamp-lighting time,” referring to the candles lit for this service when it was held in the early evening.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
, , (in the Roman Catholic Church)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vespers — • Historical article on Evening Prayer, one of the two principal canonical hours Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Vespers     Vespers      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Vespers — Ves pers, n. pl. [OF. vespres, F. v[^e]pres, LL. vesperae, fr. L. vespera evening. See {Vesper}, n.] (R. C. Ch.) (a) One of the little hours of the Breviary. (b) The evening song or service. [1913 Webster] {Sicilian vespers}. See under {Sicilian} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vespers — ► NOUN ▪ a service of evening prayer, especially in the Western Christian Church. ORIGIN Latin vesperas evensong …   English terms dictionary

  • Vespers — For other uses, see Vespers (disambiguation). Benedictine monks singing Vespers on Holy Saturday Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies… …   Wikipedia

  • Vespers —    1) The major hour of the divine office of the Roman Catholic rite sung in the evening. Sundays and important feasts are allotted two vespers services, a first vespers that begins the feast on the preceding evening and second vespers that… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Vespers —    One of the Seven Canonical Hours (which see). It was from the ancient offices of Vespers and Compline that the present service of Evening Prayer was compiled. This service is sometimes now called Vespers and also Even Song (which see) …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Vespers — [evensong] One of the day s canonical hours of prayer, vespers is for the early evening. Cf. Horarium …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • vespers — [17] Latin vesper meant ‘evening’, and like Greek hésperos it went back ultimately to Indo European *wespero . This was formed from a base *we which denoted ‘down’ and also produced English west, so etymologically vesper signified ‘time when the… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • vespers — [[t]ve̱spə(r)z[/t]] N UNCOUNT In some Christian churches, vespers is a service in the evening …   English dictionary

  • vespers — /ˈvɛspəz / (say vespuhz) plural noun (sometimes upper case) 1. a religious service held in the late afternoon or the evening; Evensong. 2. Ecclesiastical a. the sixth of the seven canonical hours, or the service for it, occurring in the late… …   Australian English dictionary


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