Lauds, The Prayer of the Solitary Woman
story: Lauds is the name of the dawn hour of prayer in the Benedictine tradition.
The sun returns, the earth is bathed in light, the sleeper awakes: the mourning of night turns to joy. This is the spirit of the hour of lauds, to be—in all things—naked, and to be clothed in light.
A hinge hour, at sunrise, Lauds marks the dramatic transition from darkness to light—bookended every day with vespers, when the sun sets again. The sky changes quickly during this hour, from sleepy relief to celebration, liveliness, and love.
Lauds, “The Prayer of the Solitary Woman,” tells of a wedding, engagement, and family photographer who is surrounded by her own work—and images of what is missing in her own life. Distant from her only sister, Vespers, who recently suffered the death of her fiance, the Traveling Man, Lauds tries to find a way through her own disappointment to comfort her loved one. By stopping long enough to imagine how she might be important to others, she sees around her fecund opportunities for love that were never apparent to her before.