Oct 1, '09, 6:25 am
Join Date: April 3, 2009
The Origins of the Liturgy of Vespers and the Symbolism of Light - by Pope John Paul II (Part Two)
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Liturgy of Vespers
Symbolism of Light
Pope John Paul the Great
2. In antiquity, the lighting of the oil lamp after
sunset brought a note of joy and communion to the home. In lighting the lamp at dusk, the Christian community also prayed with gratitude in their hearts for the gift of spiritual light. This was the so-called "lucernarium" - that is, the ritual lighting of the lamp whose flame is the symbol of Christ, "the Sun that never sets".
Indeed, Christians also know that at nightfall God brightens the darkness of night with the radiance of his presence and the light of his teachings. In this regard, we should remember the very ancient lamp-lighting hymn, Fôs Hilarón, that is part of the Armenian and Ethiopian Byzantine liturgies:
The West also composed many hymns celebrating Drawing inspiration from the symbolism of light, the prayer of Vespers developed as an evening sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for the gift of physical and spiritual light, and for the other gifts of the Creation and the Redemption. St Cyprian writes:
"Joyful light of the Holy Glory of the Father, immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed, O Jesus Christ! Now that we have reached the sunset and gazed upon the light of the evening, let us sing praises to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, It is right to praise You always and at all times with harmonious voices, O Son of God, You Who give life to us: thus, the universe proclaims your glory".
(De Oratione Dominica, 35: PL 4, 560).
"The sun has set and, with the dying day, once again we need to pray. Indeed, since Christ is the true Sun, let us pray while the sun sets and the day fades in this world, imploring that the light shine on us anew; and let us call for the coming of Christ who will bring us the grace of eternal light"
- General Audience
8 October 2003
O my soul:
O Lord my God,
thou art exceedingly great.
Thou hast put on praise and beauty:
2 And art clothed with
as with a garment.
+ To God Be The Glory +
. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Sweet Holy Spirit of our God+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+
. . . Holy Mother Mary pray for us+