One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A service of evening prayer in the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church (sometimes said earlier in the day).
service, church service, religious rite, religious act, prayer, prayer meeting, praise, devotion, religious observanceView synonyms
- ‘After vespers (an evening service), the celebration continues outside the church.’
- ‘He went to a Catholic school, he did his vespers, he did his mass, he did his religious studies, but he lost his faith.’
- ‘The official celebration of the saint's feast day began the evening before at vespers and was followed by an early morning mass in the baptistery.’
- ‘The office is a pattern of nonsacramental prayer services that are celebrated at regular times of the day or night, primarily lauds in the morning and vespers at night.’
- ‘His religious conversion came on Christmas Eve, when he went to Notre Dame during vespers in search of what he called ‘decadent exercises’: the quasi-religious tropes of which the symbolist poets were fond.’
- ‘With the household interns we observe the ancient practice of fixed-hour prayer, keeping whenever possible four offices each day: morning prayers, midday prayers, vespers, and compline.’
- ‘During vespers one day, the crucifix lit up and a voice spoke: ‘Francis, do you not see how my house is falling into ruin?’’
- ‘Luckier still, we might find a vespers service at 7 p.m., and a much anticipated pilgrims' meal in a local restaurant.’
- ‘After vespers and meditation the monks sit down to evening supper which is eaten in silence while they listen to readings from scripture.’
- ‘More recently, I watched as seminarians filed into the main chapel on a Sunday afternoon to sing vespers.’
- ‘As vespers drew to a close the pilgrims began to file quietly out and I was left alone at the back of the church with my rucksack.’
- ‘Very few people, even inside the church, know what vespers really means.’
- ‘The daily liturgical cycle began in the evening with vespers, following the Jewish reckoning by which the day begins at sunset.’
- ‘She and a friend go to Sunday morning services, share a leisurely lunch they bring from home, and afterwards attend the vespers.’
- ‘Approaching the monastery on a Friday evening, we turned south instead of north and arrived too late for vespers.’
- ‘There was also what they call vespers at night which went for an hour or two hours, so you were actually in session for a minimum of four hours every day, more likely five or six hours every day.’
- ‘The most valuable aspect of this section of the book is his exploration of other contemporary collections of music for vespers.’
- ‘She also includes excellent hymn suggestions for vespers.’
- ‘The lights were on in the church, and the choir was making last-minute preparations for Christmas vespers.’
- ‘So while we all have our own jobs, and interests, we come together for dinners, for vespers, for music and art and activism, and just because we like each other.’
- 1.1 A service of evening prayer in other churches.
Late 15th century: from Old French vespres ‘evensong’, from Latin vesperas (accusative plural), on the pattern of matutinas ‘matins’.
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