OCF 385-395: Evening Prayer

The first rubric listed for Evening Prayer (OCF 385) reminds us that as with morning prayer, if this hour includes the rite of reception of the body at church, then the rite of reception (OCF 82-86) replaces the introductory verse (386) and hymn (387).

You might be interested to know that the given hymn in the rite is “For All The Saints.” A good choice.

The psalmody is given in OCF 388. I neglected to mention yesterday that the assembly has the option, “according to custom,” to sit or stand during the psalms and canticle. As with morning prayer, the psalms may be rendered in many different ways: responsorially as is most often seen at Sunday Mass, antiphonally, as is usual in monasteries, or even through-sung, like a hymn.

The selections given in the rite are Psalms 121 and 130, followed by Saint Paul’s Kenosis Canticle, Philippians 2:6-11. I think a good case could also be made for the baptismal canticle, Ephesians 1:3-10, or the wedding feast of heaven in Revelation 19.

The reading (389) is brief and may be followed by silence and/or a brief homily. The liturgy continues with the responsory (390), and the Magnificat (391). Intercessions (392), the Lord’s Prayer (393), a concluding prayer (394), followed by an optional sharing, and then the dismissal (395) conclude this liturgy.

Vespers is woefully underused as a parish celebration of the funeral rites. It would be my own preference when I die.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to OCF 385-395: Evening Prayer

  1. Orazio says:

    Can you give a few words to explain why you prefer this to the “Vigil for the Deceased”? To me, it looks a much nicer option. And it seems, unlike the Vigil, there is a long history over hundreds of years for celebrating the office. So why do so many opt for the Vigil instead.

    • Todd says:

      Good questions.

      First, as a musician, I would appreciate a liturgy more sung than spoken. There is a single place for a Scripture reading, a brief one. But personally, I find the psalms quite edifying especially when set well to music.

      I suspect that because the Office for the Dead is buried so far back in the OCF and so deep in the Liturgy of the Hours, that clergy and others just overlook it. I’m not sure all parish music directors would be prepared to offer something beyond a few Mass psalms (23, 27, etc.) and the usual funeral offerings.

      About a month after my father died, one of my staff colleagues arranged a celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours as a memorial in the parish where I served. (It was several hundred miles from my parents’ home.) I was very moved by the gesture, choice, and thought that went into that.

  2. Pingback: Office for the Dead | Catholic Sensibility

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