Looking for Vesper Light
Saturday, December 14th at 4:00 p.m. a Vesper Service will be held at the Crowell Chapel in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Our service will specifically raise the name of Merrill Newman, incarcerated by the North Korea government from October 26th to December 7th, in thanksgiving and celebration, for his return to his family.
For sailors lost at sea, the appearance of the “Vesper Light” is a gift from the heavens, a gift from God. The Vesper appears in the western sky just above the horizon as the first and brightest star of the evening. This “Star” is actually the planet Venus that brightly, brilliantly reflects the rays of the just setting sun. Sailors refer to it as the “Evening Star” or “Hesperus”.
Seeing the Vesper tells sailors where the western sky is, allowing them to navigate a true course, especially when the North Star is not visible. Wherever they sail, seeing the Vesper Light gives them direction. Alfred Lord Tennyson, a sailor himself, opened his famous poem, “Crossing the Bar”, with the words, “Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me!” referring to the Vesper Star.
“Evening Song”, or “Vespers”, is a time of prayer at sunset to pray and sing to the “God of Light” who orients our souls. It is a traditional prayer service that holds up a psalm, and prayers as the day comes to a close.
Please join together with family and friends at the Crowell Chapel to offer your prayers of thanksgiving and celebration at the Vesper Light. We celebrate a sailor, Merrill Newman, who knows God’s blessings that he could successfully weather difficult circumstances, continue his true course of life, and joyfully celebrate, finding his way home to safe harbor.