With this third post, we conclude the broad legislation on the structure of morning and evening prayer.
Just as the recitation of the Gospel is the apex for the Liturgy of the Word, the singing of the Gospel Canticle so serves Morning and Evening Prayer.
50. Next is the solemn recitation of the gospel canticle with its antiphon, that is, the Canticle of Zechariah at morning prayer and the Canticle of Mary at evening prayer. Sanctioned by age-old popular usage in the Roman Church, these canticles are expressions of praise and thanksgiving for our redemption. The antiphon for each canticle is indicated, according to the character of the day, the season, or the feast.
After the canticle two similar kinds of intercessory prayers are offered for the intentions of those praying. Those praying the hours in alone or in a community should be attuned to the difference in these, and maintain the individual character of either Lauds or Vespers.
51. After the canticle, at morning prayer come the petitions for the consecration of the day and its work to God and at evening prayer, the intercessions (see GILH 179-193).
52. After the petitions or intercessions the Lord’s Prayer is said by all.
53. Immediately after the Lord’s Prayer there follows the concluding prayer, which for weekdays in Ordinary Time is found in the psalter and for other days in the proper.
54. Then, if a priest or deacon is presiding, he dismisses the congregation with the greeting, The Lord be with you, and the blessing as at Mass. He adds the invitation, Go in peace. R. Thanks be to God. In the absence of a priest or deacon the celebration concludes with May the Lord bless us, etc.
The conclusion is very similar to many sacramental rituals: intercessory prayer, followed by the Lord’s Prayer, then a concluding prayer by the leader. An ordained leader blesses those present. A lay person uses an inclusive first-person plural formula “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.”
So sections 41-54 give you the outline of Morning and Evening Prayer: nearly identical in structure, somewhat different in details, but a very predictable and traditional framework to count on.