vespers (vĕsˈpərz) [key] [Lat., = evening], in the Christian Church, principal evening office. In the Roman rite, vespers have consisted since the 6th cent. of a few prayers, five psalms, a lesson, the Magnificat, and an antiphon. The Anglican evening prayer, often called vespers, is made up largely of the Roman vespers and compline (the final evening office).
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