The Augustinians of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Mary of Grace Independent Catholic Church have started praying Vespers every Wednesday evening in the oratory in my apartment, followed by dinner at a local restaurant (so far an Italian restaurant down the street with great meal specials). Usually, there are two or three of us. It is quickly making Wednesday night my favorite night of the week. We chant a few Psalms to traditional Gregorian chant tones (we use the St. Dunstan’s Psalter, available from Lancelot Andrewes Press http://www.andrewespress.com/), read a passage of scripture, followed by the Magnificat, Mary’s song of praise (also chanted to traditional Gregorian chant tones from the St. Dunstan’s Psalter with the antiphon from the Monastic Diurnal Noted, also available from Lancelot Andrewes Press). Then, we pray, with the Lord’s Prayer, a collect of the day, and lots of silence with opportunity for individuals to make intercessions or thanksgivings.
This offers an oasis of peace in the midst of what are usually busy weeks. I would encourage others to consider making this a part of their prayer discipline as well – any Christian can lead the office, there is no requirement of ordination, as there is for some liturgical rites. Just invite a friend or two, and pray.