Vespers (from the Latin for ‘evening’) is the official Evening Prayer of the Church. For centuries, the Church’s prayer has been centred on the psalms and canticles found in the Bible. At Vespers two psalms and a New Testament canticle are sung, along with the Magnificat, Mary’s great song in praise of God (Lk 1:46-55).
At Lancaster Cathedral, almost the entire liturgy is sung. A cantor leads the singing, with the congregation taking a full part. This liturgy is fairly quiet and reflective, with a character of thanksgiving offered to God for the blessings of the day. By celebrating Vespers, we join many thousands of cathedrals, monasteries, churches and individuals who celebrate this prayer daily.
Vespers is sung in the Cathedral each Sunday at 4:40pm, with Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
On other days
Vespers is sometimes celebrated on major feast days. It is also sung during the Easter Octave and in the latter part of Advent, 17th-23rd December. Full details are given in the Cathedral diary.
Those who are not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church are welcome to attend Vespers and to take a full part in this service. For details of other services, click here.