The Call to Prayer
Come let us bow down, and bend the knee and kneel before the lord our Maker. For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. (Psalm 95:6-7)
The Request for Presence
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me, and hear my words. (Psalm 17:6)
You are God: I praise you;
You are the Lord: I acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: all creation worships you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
As these have been from the beginning, so they are now and evermore shall be. Alleluia.
All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night
All Praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.
Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep my eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake.
When in the night I sleepless be,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.
O when shall I, in endless day,
For ever chase dark sleep away,
And hymns divine with angels sing,
All praise to thee, eternal king?
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The Refrain for the Vespers Lessons
[ To be said after each Scripture reading for the day]
O lord, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot. (Psalm 16:5)
The Vespers Psalm: An Evening Song
I will bless the lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:7-11)
The Lord's Prayer
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful.
Give me instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
The Concluding Prayer of the Church
Lord Jesus, stay with me, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be my companion in the way, kindle my heart, and awaken hope, that I may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and in the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love toward me. Amen.
Excerpted from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle. © 2000 by Tickle Incorporated. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday Religion, a division of Random House Inc.
Be sure to read our main feature "Learning the Rhythms of Prayer."
The Divine Hours can be purchased at the ChristianityToday.com bookstore and other book retailers.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.