21 November 2013

Feed from Pope Francis' Visit to the Camaldolese Nuns in Rome: VESPERS

As noted earlier this week, today is the the Feast of the Presentation and "pro orantibus" (i.e., "for those who pray") day --- the occasion on which the Church especially recognizes and honors the vocations of contemplative religious. In light of that Pope Francis is visiting the Camaldolese nuns on the Aventine in Rome where they will sing Vespers and spend some time in silent prayer. Francis will also tour the monastery and the cell of Sister Nazarena (cf, Pope to visit Camaldolese Nuns).

The Camaldolese chant (the music is Camaldolese as is that of the psalms) sung at the beginning of Evening Prayer is well-known to all Camaldolese in the US (though we sing it in English); typically it is sung at the beginning of Sunday or Festal Vespers. We pray that our prayer may rise to God like incense. The cantor appropriately raises her arms to God in the Traditional symbol of prayer within the Church as she sings, "Like incense, let my prayer come before you O God, the lifting of my arms like an evening oblation."

The above feed includes a period of silent adoration following Vespers accompanied by Benediction. I invite you to take the time to truly enter into the silence (the organ music will signal the end of this period so you will hear when it is time to bring this part of your prayer to an end); allow yourself to be accompanied into that silence by the prayers of contemplatives everywhere. This is, after all, the essence of our lives and the gift we bring to the Church and world.