Vespers, Glorious Light

Aug 7, 2020

Today’s reflection is another in the series by Debra Donnelly-Barton. Debra continues to inspire with these “Litany of the Living Earth” reflections. She has presented several retreats at our Center and we look forward to hosting her again in the future. Let’s take a few quiet moments to read about her reflection on the vesper light.mary, statue of mary

A Liturgy of the Living Earth

Praying the hours in tune with nature

Summer Meditations

Vespers, Glorious Light

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,

and our eyes behold the vesper light,

we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

-Evening Prayer

The Vesper Light is thought to be the first star seen in the Western sky. That ‘bright star’ is actually Venus or occasionally Mercury shining in the sky at sunset, companion and guide to the stars as they begin to appear in the darkening sky.

It is said that sailors used this vesper light to navigate toward the west when they were lost at sea. The star/planet guided them back to right route. It is easy to lose your way on the broad ocean, and it is easy to lose your way during the tedious hours of the day. Twilight time, transition from day to night, is a good time to reorient toward Christ.

Our vesper sky is full of late afternoon colors. Shafts of light illuminate fields and rivers and seas creating a regal landscape. When we pray indoors holy objects touched by this golden light become significant reminders of the beauty of pausing for prayer at the evening hour.

The glorious earth would be inspiration enough for us to raise our song of praise, but there is more. For we are guided not by a slant of light but by Christ. Our vesper prayer happens at a time of day when we can pause and remember who we are and why we are seeking Christ.

Beauty of word and light and silence begin our prayer. Surrender and desire sustain our prayer. Joy and praise manifest our prayer.


Between 5pm and 5:30pm find a still place where you can watch the changing sky as the sun begins its descent. Let your eyes feast on what the light does to the objects or landscape around you. What will your praise be this evening? Please share with us in the comments below.