Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No Night Prayer

It is a tradition at the Saint Paul Seminary that on Sunday evenings the house spends an hour in adoration of the blessed sacrament (with a liturgy of either the Hours or the Word, with a homily at either) followed by a short social in our lobby area, concluded by Night Pryaer (the last of the Liturgy of the Hours for the day).

I have always enjoyed these celebrations for they give us a chance to catch up with the guys and meet some new students from on campus who come to pray with us. Usually, we will have a number of undergrad students come from campus to join us for Night Prayer.

I particularly enjoy Night Prayer because it is a great way to end the day. We examine our consciences and confess our sinfulness, sing a hymn, pray a psalm (or two), and hear a reading. Each day the hymn, psalm and reading differ. After these, however, the prayer becomes much more repetitive. Every night of the week we use the same Responsory and Gospel Canticle. The last thing the Church provides for our meditation, however, is a Marian hymn, which traditionally changes with the liturgical season. It makes me think of many fond memories of hearing a short bedtime story, kissing my mother goodnight or having her lull me with her beautiful voice as I was growing up. The Marian hymn is the Church's own way of having us bid goodnight to our Mother--and allowing her to lull us into the darkness of the night.

Tonight, however, we will not be having our Holy Hour, social or Night Prayer. Many men will still be on the road, returning from their distant homes and so it seems fitting that we wait until Morning Prayer tomorrow--allowing everyone sufficient time for travel--until we have our first liturgy as a house. So for tonight, I will suffice myself with my solo voice, singing that beautiful hymn, "Salve Regina..." "Hail, Holy Queen."

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