(Adapted from Apostolic Constitutions, Fourth Century)
We praise you and we thank you,
O God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
You made the day for the works of light
and the night for the refreshment of our minds and bodies.
O loving Lord and source of all that is good,
graciously accept our evening sacrifice of praise.
Not only have you led us through this day
and brought us to night's beginning,
but you have also looked upon us with tender and merciful care
over these past one hundred years.
You invited the Society of Mary
to share in the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, your Son:
to bring the light of your Good News to all,
to enkindle the flame of faith,
to proclaim the Risen Christ as the beacon of hope and pledge of glory
to every human being.
He is our Mercy and Reconciliation with you,
and, unworthy as we are, you have called us
to share in this great work of reconciliation.
O loving Father, you have showered us with gifts and blessings
to accomplish the work that you entrusted to us.
Chief among these boundless graces have been the people,
our brothers and sisters, for whom and with whom we have shared
our lives and work for a century --
Christians, and Catholics, those of other religions or of no religion,
bishops, clergy of the dioceses,
and our sisters and brothers, members of other religious communities.
We thank you, Father, for them and for the many other gifts
you have lavished upon us.
Keep us all, now and always, in Christ, your Son.
Grant us a peaceful evening and a night free from harm,
and bring us at last to the blazing light of your eternal glory.
Through Christ and in the Holy Spirit,
we offer you all glory, honor, and worship,
now and forever.
The assembly sits while the presider places incense on the coals. This gesture recalls Psalm 141:2, "Let my prayer rise before you like incense, the raising of my hands like the evening sacrifice."
Not only do we remember the ancient Temple ritual, the early evening sacrifice offered every day [the Jewish basis for Christian Vespers], we also bring to mind the sweet-smelling grains that made the offering, and by extension the prayers and the person of the one offering, well-pleasing and acceptable to God.
In our ceremony, we pray that incense will be for us cleansing and purifying, a moment of penance and repentance -- for failures, offenses, and omissions in our ministry. We regret our insensitivity, our selfishness, our lack of charity and zeal, and for anything else we have done that has not promoted Christian unity or that has contributed to injustice or intolerance and, in particular, to racial inequity. May God forgive us and strengthen us to complete the work he has given us to do.
Prayers of the Faithful
We ask Mary, our Blessed Mother, to join with us as we pray to our loving and merciful God for all the things we need.
Response: Graciously hear us, O Lord.
1. Father, we pray for your holy Church and for all the People of God; we pray for Pope Benedict, our Holy Father and Universal Shepherd of your Church; we pray for our Archbishop ______ and Bishop _______, and for all our spiritual and religious leaders. May the Spirit of Love make us grow in unity, service, and love for one another, let us pray to the Lord.
2. Loving God, we ask you to watch over our world, our nation, and our state of _________. Protect and guide all civil leaders and officials, and may all people live in peace, mutual respect, and in sisterly and brotherly good will, let us pray to the Lord.
3. In thanksgiving today for a century of ministry in (our state), we pray for the Society of Mary, for the Superior General and his administration, for Father William Rowland, provincial of the Washington Province, for all Marists: priests, brothers, seminarians, and particularly for the Marist laity, the members of the Third Order of Mary. May God bless and prosper this religious family dedicated to the Mother of his Son, let us pray to the Lord.
4. Father, we pray for all our benefactors and those who assist us in the proclaiming of your Gospel. Reward them for their generosity and fill their lives with your blessings. We also pray for all those whom we serve in our ministry, for those whose lives we touch, and for those who touch and improve our lives. May our love for one another make your presence real in the world, let us pray to the Lord.
5. Generous God, remember those who have died. May all our beloved dead share in the eternal glory of the Risen Christ, let us pray to the Lord.
God, our Father, from whom every good gift proceeds, today we pour out our praise and thanksgiving for all your blessings and graces to us, especially over these last one hundred years.
Continue to strengthen us for our mission and give each of us a spirit of joy and dedication in serving you and one another in Christian love.
We ask you this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
is vital for those who
undertake a spiritual
It is an expression
of faith and solidarity,
and demands a
creative search for
new forms, such as
reading the Scriptures
together in faith,
Our Marist Prayer
Marists themselves honor Mary and teach those they serve to honor her according to the mind of the Church. They make use of traditional practices such as the rosary and the Angelus and the celebration of her feasts, and they work with the Church to renew these devotions.
To strengthen the bonds that unite them to her, Marists hold in high regard the practices in Mary's honor traditional in the Society, such as praying the Salve Regina in common and placing her image at the superior's door to remind them that she is their first and perpetual superior.
Following the example of the first Marist missioners, they keep a special place in their prayers for the conversion of sinners and the perseverance of the faithful, commending them to the intercession of Our Lady by praying three Hail Marys and the Sub Tuum on rising and retiring.
Hail, Holy Queen
Leader: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
Response: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who by the cooperation of the Holy Spirit prepared the body and soul of Mary, glorious Virgin and Mother, to be a fit dwelling for Your Son, grant that we, who rejoice in her memory, may be freed from present ills and from eternal death by her prayers. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Leader: Grant that I may praise you, O sacred Virgin.
Response: Give me strength against your enemies.
Leader: Blessed be God in His saints.