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Vespers

The evening Daily Office of the Western Church. It is preceded by None and followed by Compline.* Its structure and solemnity are similar to that of Lauds* (the morning Office), with four or five Psalms, a Bible-reading, a hymn, the Magnificat,* and a collect. Often the altar is incensed during the chanting of the Magnificat. Appropriate changes and additions are made on holy days, ember days, etc. With Lauds it has the distinction of being the oldest of the seven daily offices, and its celebration in the late afternoon rather than at night may be traced back to the time of Benedict (c.500). The Anglican service of Evensong* is based on Vespers, but with additions, e.g., from Compline.