As darkness comes early these days, I’ve decided to reclaim the ancient practice of vespers to harness the power of our home as a sacred space. I want to melt into the invitation this season asks of us—to go into the dark for inspiration, for guidance, for comfort—so I’ve been turning to poetry each day, and writing down in my journal the particular ones that speak to my soul this time of year. I want to practice vespers as a way of making our home a holy place. The idea was inspired by a trip we took as a family to London two years ago. One of the highlights of that trip was the discovery of vespers—that quiet service of evening prayers of the divine. I am no stranger to the concept of quiet reflection at the end of the day, having worked at an overnight camp for many summers that made a practice of gathering at twilight by the lake to quiet our minds and connect our souls to the land. But walking through the doors of Westminster Abby in London, I was reminded of the sensation I always used to get walking through the doors of Saint Patrick’s cathedral in New York City, or Notre Dame in Paris—that hushed stillness as you left the noise of the outside world behind, the inundation to my senses in the dimly lit space filled with candlelight and scents of stories told and rituals lived by all those who have walked through those doors. I want my home these days to remind me of those hallowed doors, and to remember the sensation of holiness that can exist just outside the noisy world.
Want to know what these daily verses are all about? Read here to learn what inspired this practice on my birthday post, November 1st.