Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense,

and let the lifting up of my hands be as an evening sacrifice.



Vespers, together with Mattins, form the two major daily offices of the Community of Bose. The structure is in continuity with the ‘monastic’ format but has been adjusted with an ecumenical ‘eye’ so as to contain (in differing degrees) elements of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox traditions of worship in a coherent, new and contemporary form.

Like all offices, its centre is psalmody and the Word of God. Our service adds a short address, which, at Bose, often occurs at Compline on Sundays. While Bose uses an ecumenical lectionary, our scheme of psalmody and scripture readings is thematic and relates to our chosen theme for reflection/study. Our service also includes the hymn Phos Hilaron (O gracious light), an ancient third-century hymn, which, at Bose, is an optional part of Vespers on Saturdays as a preparation for worship on ‘the Lord’s Day’.

In devising Vespers (and Mattins) the community has invested the service order and content with ‘movement’. They describe this movement

toward the Father in the Introduction and psalmody

through the Son in the biblical readings (the Word of God)

in the Holy Spirit in the contemplation, intercessions, prayers and blessing

Our evening sacrifice of praise is offered not just to but in the Trinity, our dwelling ‘place’ through baptism.

Tapers may be lit during the intercessions; feel free at any point in that final part of the service to use your taper as a token of your intercession for another, and stand it in the bowl by the icon, and then return to your seat. Or just keep the taper with you to remind you that you and your prayer are part of God’s precious ‘harvest of light’.

Most of the worship texts are translated from the community’s Preghiera dei Giorni (Daily Prayer) for use at St Helen’s; psalmody is from Common Worship; texts for musical settings are taken from Preghiera, or in some cases adapted from various musical sources, including The Hymnal 1980


Themes & Scripture Readings   2018 - 2019

In the Beginning - exploring the Book of Genesis


September 2nd - Why read the Old Testament?   Hebrews 1

introduction   :   address   :   reading


October 7th - Creation from nothing    Genesis 1.1-5

introduction   :   address   :   reading


November 4th - The Creation of humankind    Genesis 1.26ff

introduction   :   address   :   reading


December - NO VESPERS SERVICE  [Advent Music & Readings at 17.30]


January 6th - The 'fall' of humankind    Genesis 3.1-22

introduction   :   address   :   reading


February 3rd - Cain and Abel    Genesis 4.1-16

introduction  :   address   :   reading


March 3rd - Noah's ark and the flood    Genesis 6.11-22

introduction  :   address   :   reading


April 7th - The tower of Babel    Genesis 11.1-9

introduction  :   address   :   reading




June 2nd - The call of Abraham    Genesis 12.1-9

introduction  :   address   :   reading


July 7th - The covenant with Abraham     Genesis 17.1-27

introduction  :   address   :   reading


The addresses at Vespers are not 'scientific' analyses of the scriptural passages. They are attempts to understand the episodes and their dramatis personae from the point of view of Christian faith and theology. As such the addresses aim to help hearers understand God, the world and themselves better as those 'drawn into a lively and life-changing conversation' through Jesus Christ in the Spirit.
Notes provided at each service aim to extend the opportunity for reflection on the readings and the theme of the day. Please follow links above where available or contact the Parish Administrator.