In this study on evening worship in the Orthodox Church, Nicholas Uspensky reveals the true purpose for which the service of Vespers came into existence: the ancient Christian tradition of giving thanks for the evening light, and the faith which this tradition implies concerning the presence of Christ in the midst of those gathered in His name. While tracing the evolution of the rites of Vespers and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts from their Old Testamental antecedents to their present forms today, he calls upon liturgical commentators to stand closer to the meaning attached to the service of evening worship by the ancient Church. This valuable historical-liturgical study also discusses the Communion which is added to the Vespers in the midst of the Fast, and the differences that exist between the Greek and Russian orders of service for the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist.
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