Online Encyclopedia

VESPERS (officium vespertinum)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 1052 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VESPERS (officium vespertinum), in the Roman Catholic liturgy, that part of the daily office which follows none (nona) and precedes compline (completorium). In it the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Deus in Adjutorium, &c., are followed by five psalms and five antiphons, after which come the " little chapter," the hymn and the verse, which vary according to the season, the Magnificat and its antiphon, and the appropriate collect. In its general features the use of this office can be traced back to a very early date both in the Eastern Church and in the Western. Vespers may be said or sung at any time after midday, and in some circumstances even before it. (See BREVIARY.)
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