Hildegard: Silence Solitude Music Beauty
Sung Vespers: Sunday 23 October at 6.30pm St Christopher’s Cathedral, Manuka
What is Vespers at the Cathedral?
Vespers consists of chanted psalms, the Magnificat (song of Mary), short readings and prayer.
The service lasts for about 30 minutes. Booklets are provided to the congregation, and all are invited to join in song, prayer, and silence. Vespers consists of chanted psalms, the Magnificat (song of Mary), short readings and prayer. Each psalm has an Antiphon, which is a short text determined by the day of the week, or season.
Choirmaster Jaki Kane provides some of the benefits and reasons for singing Vespers.
1. The psalm texts are wonderful, and in the Mass each week we usually only get to sing a fragment of them (3 or 4 verses).
2. In a Vespers service we sing many verses of a single psalm, and it often makes more sense as a whole.
3. The psalms were not written as a spoken narrative, but as song.
4. There are many instances in the Gospel account of the apostles singing psalms.
5. Although we don’t know what melody they used, we do have a way of singing text in a liturgy, which is basically chanting on a single note with a short melodic formula to finish each sentence.
6. It is this type of chant that the priest uses to sing the parts of the Mass.
7. It is an opportunity for the congregation to learn how to do this, so that they could sing the psalms in this same tradition.