In the Orthodox Church the liturgical day begins in the evening with the setting of the sun. This practice follows the Biblical account of creation: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Gen 1.5).
The Vespers service in the Church always begins with the chanting of the evening psalm: “. . . the sun knows it’s time for setting, Thou makest darkness and it is night . . .” (Ps 104.19–20). This psalm, which glorifies God’s creation of the world, is man’s very first act of worship, for man first of all meets God as Creator.
The service of Vespers takes us through creation, sin, and salvation in Christ. It leads us to the meditation of God’s word and the glorification of his love for men. It instructs us and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons whose memory is celebrated and made present to us in the Church. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come. On the evening before the Divine Liturgy, it begins our movement into the most perfect communion with God in the sacramental mysteries.
During weekdays for most of the year, Vespers is celebrated on Wednesday evenings at 5pm and lasts about 45 minutes. There are seasonal changes to the schedule so please check the calendar for exact times.
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