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Musical Musings: Advent Page 2

Advent Vespers

Part II: Vespers Outline

  1. OPENING PROCESSIONAL - This may be organ or instrumental music. Do NOT use a hymn, as the Hymn is an official part of Evening Prayer and follows soon (see 3 below). Organ possibilities might include "Wachet auf!" (J.S. Bach), the slow movement of a Mendelssohn sonata or Handel concerto, or an Advent chorale prelude. Incense and candles should be a part of this procession.
  2. INTRODUCTORY VERSE - When the procession has ended, the leader intones "God, come to my assistance," to which all respond, "Lord, make haste to help me, " followed by "Glory to the Father..." with alleluia. Any simple melody may be used for this verse.
  3. HYMN - Then follows an Advent hymn. Possibilities include "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "Lo, How A Rose," "The Advent of Our God," "On Jordan's Bank," "Come, O Long-Expected Jesus," "Creator of the Stars of Night," "Comfort, Comfort, O My People," "Wake, Awake, and Sleep No Longer," or any other sturdy, well-known Advent hymn.
  4. FIRST PSALM - The psalm is most properly sung in antiphonal or responsorial style, by a cantor, choir(s) or groups of the congregation. A simple Gregorian psalm tone may be used, or a freely composed psalm setting may be sung by leader(s) and congregation. Psalm 110 (taken from Sunday of Week I) is appropriate. Other psalms may be substituted: Psalm 27, Psalm 62, Psalm 126, Psalm 139, or Psalm 25 [See CanticaNOVA catalog #1025-1]
  5. PSALM PRAYER - The psalm prayer may be added after the first and second psalms, or it may be legitimately omitted.
  6. SECOND PSALM - This psalm may be sung to a new chant tone [See CanticaNOVA's "Communion Psalms for the Liturgical Seasons" catalog #3020 for great possibilities]. The Liturgy of the Hours for Sundays suggests Psalm 114, Psalm 115, Psalm 111 or Psalm 112. An Advent responsorial psalm may be substituted, or Psalm 19 [See CanticaNOVA catalog #1019-1]
  7. NEW TESTAMENT CANTICLE - A canticle from the New Testament is then sung. Most appropriate might be Sunday's canticle from Revelation 19:1-7. Other choices include Colossians 1:12-20, Revelation 15:3-4 or Ephesians 1:3-10. The Lucien Deiss song, "Maranatha," may be an easier selection for the congregation to grasp.

  Back to Part I: Introduction

Part III: Vespers Outline (cont.) 

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