1st Vespers in the Vatican Basilica and the Vigil for Nascent Human Life

At 1800 Rome time (1700 GMT 1200 EST) the Holy Father will celebrate 1st Vespers of Advent in the Vatican Basilica.

But at 1730 Rome time (1630 GMT 1130 EST) there is the Vigil of Prayer for Nascent Life.

You may remember my comments about the word “nascent“.

I see that not all bishops around the world have done very much to promote this.   At least I haven’t seen anything.  Have you?  Post in the combox.

In the meantime, please do something on your own for this Vigil in solidarity with the Holy Father’s wishes and with the unborn.

UPDATE: I have read through the Holy Father’s sermon for Vespers.  It is workmanlike.  He hits excellent points about the dignity of human life from conception onward.  He quotes two of the only paragraphs in Gaudium et spes worth quoting frequently, namely, 22 and 51.  Alas, he did not quote the mighty phrase in 51:

Deus enim, Dominus vitae, praecellens servandi vitam ministerium hominibus commisit, modo homine digno adimplendum. Vita igitur inde a conceptione, maxima cura tuenda est; abortus necnon infanticidium nefanda sunt crimina. … For God, the Lord of life, has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life in a manner which is worthy of man. Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.

Isn’t it interesting that many pro-abortion “Catholics” think that Papa Ratzinger is undermining the Second Vatican Council?

But I digress.   If you can, watch Vespers and the Vigil for Nascent Human Life.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in New Evangelization, Pope of Christian Unity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. avecrux says:

    Cardinal George is having a vigil at Holy Name Cathedral tonight. He also sent a letter to all Pastors – mentioning that it may be difficult for people to attend due to it being the Thanksgiving weekend, so he would welcome additional events being scheduled.

  2. benedetta says:

    My diocese has not recognized this Vigil in any way. Indeed there was nothing planned for Respect Life Sunday either and there is certainly no diocesan effort to attend the March for Life in D.C. each year. And there are relatively few organized efforts to reach out to pregnant women in crisis. One might wonder whether the entire prolife effort here has been given a “low, low priority” status (though oftentimes it is difficult to determine what exactly are priorities). I was informed that a friend had taken it upon herself to help organize a Vigil at a nearby convent chapel and I will be going there to pray for the Holy Father’s intentions on behalf of developing human life. Prolife can be given low priority by some in authority, however the dignity of life will never just fade away into oblivion!

  3. DavidJ says:

    Here in Atlanta, I heard our parish is doing a rosary for this cause after the vigil Mass tonight. Also, on the archdiocesan webpage, there’s a headline about the archbishop doing something for this at the cathedral at noon.

  4. Faith says:

    Boston’s Archbishop has. Tonight, Saturday, Nov. 27th. Cardinal Sean Patrick is hosting services for nascent human life in Holy Cross Cathedral. I can’t pin point where I first saw this announcement because I’ve seen it all over the place. I’ve heard it too, Boston Catholic Radio.

  5. Faith: Great! That’s good news.

  6. Archbishop Vigneron is holding a vigil at St. John Neumann in Canton, Michigan.

    I made a post with this advertisement, and several other area parishes are holding vigils. I think there are many more, but there was no, single list accumulating them. I was attempting to in my post, but only received two responses out of people in southeast Michigan. If anyone knows of others in the area, drop them into my combox, as well, please.


    Other opportunities in the Archdiocese of Detroit if you can’t make Canton
    Assumption Grotto is holding a Holy Hour following the 4:00pm Mass, but we did not prepare in enough time to get a Vespers service planned. The Rosary always follows Mass at Grotto and will be done during Exposition. Silent adoration will follow until 6:00pm.

    Christ the King in Ann Arbor is holding a prayer vigil, as is Sacred Heart in Imlay City

  7. Oops – messed up the link. Here are details that go with my above comment on prayer vigils in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Please drop more into my combox if you are aware of places in the metro-Detroit area holding vigils.


  8. jorgens6 says:

    Diocese of Pensacola Tallahassee
    Bishop Ricard will celebrate a Mass for “Nascent Human Life” at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pensacola followed by a Eucharistic Holy Hour.
    Our parish will have Rosary prayers after Sunday Vigil Mass this evening.

  9. Gwen says:

    Reno’s Bishop Randolph Calvo will lead Vespers and a prayer vigil for nascent human life at 7 p.m. at the Saint Thomas Aquinas cathedral in Reno. It has been advertised well, on Catholic radio, in church bulletins, and via announcements at last Sumday’s Mass.

  10. poohbear says:

    Bishop Lori (Diocese of Bridgeport, CT) is leading two vigils today in two different parts of the Diocese.

    The Vigils will include Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, special prayers for unborn human life, recitation of the Holy Rosary, Solemn Vespers or Compline, Benediction, and conclude with a simple Marian procession.

    Vigil for All Nascent Human Life at Villa Maria Guadalupe
    159 Sky Meadow Dr., Stamford, CT 06903
    Saturday November 27, 2010, 4pm-5:30pm

    Vigil for All Nascent Human Life at the Nazareth Spiritual Life Center
    1428 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, CT 06468
    Saturday November 27, 2010, 7pm-8:30pm

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    In response to our Holy Father’s call Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville (TN) is observing nascent human life with a procession, rosary, and benediction this morning.

    My other parish, Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa (TN) has recently added the Prayer to St. Michael, said at the end of every Mass for the right to life.

    Also, the Vespers from St. Peter’s will be telecast live on EWTN, and then encored at 6 pm EST this evening.

  12. Bishop Warfel of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings will be holding a vigil at the cathedral in Great Falls, and has sent out a letter encouraging parishes to follow his lead. Unfortunately, I don’t know how many other priests will have vigils, but I will be holding the vigil following the anticipatory Mass this evening using the Evening Prayer and Benediction form on the USCCB website.

  13. gloriainexcelsis says:

    I don’t know about the rest of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, but our tiny FSSP mission is having First Vespers of Advent at 5 p.m. this evening, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, per the Holy Father’s request for this vigil.

  14. TNCath says:

    Our diocese sent out a letter, but our pastor is “streamlining it.” We are having Benediction tomorrow, and that’s it, because our pastor says “all that other is too much trouble. Our people don’t know anything about Evening Prayer, and we aren’t processing around the church and saying the rosary, either.” He also informed me that “most of the guys [priests] are just saying ‘no way,’ but at least we can say we had something.” Alas…

  15. John V says:

    In Pittsburgh, the 6:00 Mass at St. Paul Cathedral will be followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer, concluding with Benediction, retired Auxiliary Bishop William J. Winter presiding. It was also suggested that parishes could have similar ceremonies following their Saturday evening Mass, or for those having Mass during the day on Saturday, to conclude with Exposition and a period of Adoration. A link to the worship aid resources on the USCCB website was also provided.


  16. irishgirl says:

    The local Maronite (Eastern Rite) parish is having a vigil after their 4:00 pm Vigil Mass. They will be using their own version of Evening Prayer.
    I saw the announcement in the morning paper while I was out at breakfast. I plan on going to it.
    Don’t know if any of the Latin Rite parishes in the diocese will have anything.
    I also plan on watching EWTN’s coverage at noon.

  17. TotusTuus90 says:

    The Bishop of Lafayette-in-Indiana (Bishop Doherty) is having Candlelight 1st Vespers and Benediction at the St. Elizabeth Central Hospital Chapel.

  18. ejcmartin says:

    Our Archbishop will be having Vespers and a vigil this evening at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. It has been quite well “advertised” in parish bulletins. If only the Archdiocese could update their website once and a while. The latest entry is from an event held last June!

  19. We had a Nativity Moleben yesterday evening at our (Byzantine Ruthenian) parish. (A Moleben is an Eastern Christian prayer service, with litanies, psalms, Scripture readings and a homily.) We share our priest with a monastery so could not have it today, but the purpose was to unite ourselves with the Holy Father’s intentions.

  20. rakesvines says:

    Here at the nation’s capitol, we have kudos and spiritual bouquets for someone who just got a red hat No mention of the vigil. Correct me if I am wrong. Here is the disgusting site: http://www.adw.org/home.asp

  21. anniemw says:

    I lifted this from our diocese’s website:
    Pope Benedict XVI is calling on all Catholics to join in a Vigil for Unborn Human Life on Saturday, November 27. In response Bishop Joseph P. McFadden will hold a vigil at St. Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg at 7 p.m. that day. Please come and unite with the Holy Father and our Bishop to pray for all unborn life.

    Please gather at St. Lawrence Chapel at 110 State Street for the one block Marian procession to the Cathedral.

    Free parking will be available at the South Street Parking Garage. Please take you parking lot ticket to the Cathedral where it will be exchanged for a parking pass.

    For questions call (717) 657-4804 ext. 240.

    In Christ, Annie

  22. Rich says:

    Bishop Patrick McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose is celebrating a “Vespers for Life” at Saint Joseph’s cathedral at 6:00 this evening.

  23. Catherine says:

    I see nothing on our archdiocesan website. However, my pastor just posted this morning a call to “pray a rosary today for the intention of all unborn children, especially those in danger of being aborted. This would be an especially powerful prayer if it is offered before the Blessed Sacrament. The Sacred Heart Chapel is open now, and will be throughout the night, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Our Lord waits for you spend some time with Him in prayer, praying especially for the unborn.”

    By the way, this an Anglican-use Roman Catholic parish. Praise God!

  24. Andrew says:

    From the diocesan website of Miami:

    “The Holy Father has made a rare appeal to all the bishops of the world to join in prayerful solidarity with him for all nascent human life on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 27, the Vigil of the First Sunday of Advent. To that end, Archbishop Thomas Wenski is pleased to invite all priests, religious and lay faithful of the archdiocese to join him in the celebration of Holy Mass followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. “

  25. Girgadis says:

    Here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Cardinal Rigali has heeded the Pope’s call by asking every parish to pray the Rosary for the intention of the unborn a half hour before the Vigil Mass this evening.

  26. Mattiesettlement says:

    Here in Our Lady of Grace of Monastery we will be having First Vespers with Rosary, and Benediction.
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Fr. DeCoste

  27. pgarnaas says:

    The Diocese of Crookston, MN will celebrate with Mass, a meal and the Vigil liturgy at the Cathedral starting at 5pm. There’s nothing at my local parish, unfortunately, not even a notice in the bulletin about the Cathedral liturgy. If I hadn’t read WDTPRS today and gone looking for more information, I wouldn’t have been aware of this. Now, at least, I can join in the prayers via EWTN .

    I haven’t commented here before, but I wanted to thank Gloriainexcelsis for the note about his/her FSSP parish. My husband and I are heading to Tyler soon to find warmer weather for the winter. I’m looking forward to attending the EF at St. Joseph the Worker, since our NO parish is definitely on the “relaxed” side of the spectrum.

  28. Gail F says:

    The Archbishop of Cincinnati will hold a special service for this on Thursday — I don’t know why the date change, but I think it has something to do with Thanksgiving — and is suggesting that all priests in the Archdiocese do so during Advent. I can’t find it on the website, which is almost never updated, but it’s on some online publications.

  29. Supertradmum says:

    Absolutely nothing in our Davenport Diocese and nothing in our bulletin. Without the Internet, I would not even know about this. It was not even mentioned at the Latin Mass last week.

  30. In Toronto, Archbishop Thomas C. Collins will preside at the Vigil for Life Evening Prayer, Reflections by the Archbishop & Holy Hour in St. Michael’s Cathedral at 7:ooPM.


  31. TKS says:

    Prayers for Nascent Life 15 minutes before Saturday Vigil Mass here. We of the ‘oh, was there an election?’ parish/diocese, are in shock, especially as the Pastor announced it at all Masses last week. This parish never says anything controversial and does no teaching, so this is big.

  32. Rachel Pineda says:

    Our good Bishop Jaime Garcia will hold the vigil tonight at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe here in the Sacramento Diocese.

  33. Rachel Pineda says:

    Ooops! I mean Bishop Jaime Soto! Bishop R. Garcia is the bishop of Monterey.

  34. Melody Faith says:

    It’s not in our parish bulletin, nor the diocesan paper or website, but from a pro-life email, I found the following for San Diego:
    “Bishop Brom will be leading the Vigil for Nascent Human Life on Saturday, November 27, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Brigid’s Church, 4735 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (Pacific Beach). The Vigil will include evening prayer and adoration.

    For those of you in East County who can’t make it to St. Brigid’s, Father Nabil will lead a vigil the same day at 6:30 pm at the Mariam, Mother Pro-Life Center at St. Ephrem Church at 750 Medford Street, El Cajon, CA 92020 (Near SR125 and Navajo Road).”

  35. Miriam says:

    Here is more info about Bishop Soto’s vigil from the diocese website.

    Bishop Soto to lead Advent Vigil for New Life on Nov. 27

    On Saturday, Nov. 27, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI will open the new liturgical year by celebrating a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life, coinciding with the first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent.

    In the Diocese of Sacramento on Saturday evening, Nov. 27, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sacramento, located at 711 T St., Bishop Jaime Soto will also lead a vigil for all human life at its beginning stages of development. The bishop invites all faithful of the diocese to pray with him, in union with Pope Benedict XVI and Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world.

    A procession and rosary will begin outside the shrine at 5:30 p.m., followed by benediction and vespers with Bishop Soto in the shrine at 6:20 p.m. All are invited to attend.

    He is very pro-life and very vocal.

  36. Emilio III says:

    Although our diocesan website has no mention of it, our trendier-than-thou parish is having vespers and benediction “as suggested by our bishop and the Holy Father”.

  37. JP Borberg says:

    Bishop Fellay of the SSPX has asked all the parishes of the SSPX to respond to the Pope’s request. All night adoration was held in the SSPX church in my home town. There may have been Vespers too, I’m not sure as I don’t live there anymore.

  38. AquinasGirl says:

    The Archdiocese of Milwaukee held evening prayer, Benediction, and the Rosary this evening at 5pm at St. Anthony’s church. This was led by Archbishop Listecki.

  39. elaurier says:

    Per the website, there is nothing planned for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe at least for this weekend. Hopefully we will see something in tomorrow’s bulletin for something during the coming week.

  40. Cath says:

    We had Vespers, the Rosary, Benediction and a wonderful homily by Archbishop Naumann at Mater Dei Parish in Topeka.

  41. eiggam says:

    St. Mary’s in Kalamazoo had a beautiful vigil with Rosary and Benediction after the vigil Mass.

  42. Davenport, like many dioceses, had a prayer booklet on its diocesan website.


    There seems to have been much more announcement of services on diocesan newsletters for priests than in sources accessible to parishioners. Also, it’s possible that some have folded the Nascent Life prayer services into pre-planned ones, and just didn’t bother to advertise it.

  43. josephhearty says:

    His Excellency, Archbishop Chaput, offered First Vespers with Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament this evening in the Cathedral Basilica.

  44. mpolo says:

    In Cologne, there was a long-planned ecumenical vespers scheduled for the 27th (for years, actually). So the prayer for the unborn was transferred to the 20th, where there was Rosary, Mass, exposition, 5 hours of adoration and benediction, with the participation of one of the auxiliary bishops.

  45. Kate says:

    At Ste. Anne’s shrine in Waterbury, CT, had a beautiful vigil – Vespers, Exposition, Benediction and the rosary. Their pastor, Fr. Hinkley is on medical leave (please pray for him), so Fr. Carlson led Vespers.

    In addition to speaking directly about defending the unborn, Fr. Carlson stressed the Eucharistic dimension of the Nativity – that Christ is laid in the manger and offered to the world as food. I’ve been a Catholic for a long time; I’ve never heard a priest in the Hartford archdiocese speak so powerfully, clearly and lovingly. During the service, the adult choir and children’s schola sang. Beautiful!

    A vigil was also held in the new chapel at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.

  46. my kidz mom says:

    from the Diocese of Phoenix
    Saturday, November 27th
    Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral
    4:30 PM Vigil Mass followed by Holy Hour for the “Protection of all Nascent Life”
    Please join Bishop Olmsted, celebrant and homilist, for this special prayer event.
    This event is in response to a rare call from our Pope for every diocesan Bishop and the Catholic faithful to begin Advent remembering our unborn brothers and sisters at all stages of early development, as we meditate on the presence of our unborn Lord in Mary’s womb! They have no voice; we must be their voice of prayer, as a worldwide Church. What better way to observe Thanksgiving weekend than by uniting around our Eucharistic Lord? Eucharist, after all, means Thanksgiving!
    p.s. the notice was not on the Diocese’s website, nor mentioned at local parish; had to dig it out of Cathedral’s website:

  47. The-Monk says:

    Every parish in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia prayed the Rosary beginning at 4:45 p.m. before the Vigil Mass on Saturday evening, November 27.

  48. Varda says:

    St Anthony of Padua in Falls Church VA had Vespers with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction after Mass on Saturday night. I have never been to Vespers before. It was so beautiful. We didn’t quite know what we were doing at first but our pastor led us along and after a while I think we got the hang of it. I hope we do it again. I loved it. We even had incense! We never have incense. I loved it.

  49. I am glad to have the news of all these places where bishops and priests responded so positively to the Holy Father’s invitation!

  50. quamquam says:

    Here in Melbourne, Archbishop Denis Hart held the vigil for nascent human life at St Patrick’s Cathedral two weeks early, possibly because our Victorian state election was to be held on Saturday November 27, the very day of the Holy Father’s vigil. This election was crucial, since two years ago the existing parliament gave Victoria just about the worst abortion laws in the world. Archbishop Hart said in the lead-up to the election that he himself could never vote for a candidate who supported abortion or euthanasia, and he sent a pastoral letter to the archdiocese warning of the possibility of upcoming legislation for euthanasia.

    Well, perhaps the early prayer vigil ‘paid off’, because unexpectedly, the Labor state government (whose members were much more pro-abortion than the conservative Liberal/National coalition), looks almost certain to have narrowly lost power, and it seems pro-abortion government parliamentarians lost their seats at about twice the rate of their pro-life counterparts. This could be ‘coincidence’, and I wouldn’t read too much into this politically, since despite the best efforts of pro-life leaders and some bishops and clergy, the pro-life movement here struggles to get the profile and political importance it has in America. And it remains to be seen whether any of the abortion legislation has a chance of being repealed. But anyway, it is good news.

  51. Supertradmum says:

    Correction in humility. Our Bishop did have a prayer service for life at the Cathedral last week, but it was very poorly advertised. One of my friends who is a priest said only 50 people were there. But, it is a step in the right direction.

Comments are closed.