Sunday, December 07, 2008

Advent Vespers in Blackfriars, Oxford

Most colleges in Oxford celebrate a form of Solemn Vespers to mark the start of the Advent season, and the same is true of the Dominican Hall and Studium in Oxford. The video below is a montage of photos from Solemn Advent Vespers this year, with 'live' music recorded during the liturgical celebration.

Vespers in Blackfriars Oxford is celebrated according to the modern Roman rite with proper elements from the Dominican use. The liturgy is almost entirely in English, sung to the traditional Gregorian chant modes and psalm tones. On certain occasions, such as this Advent Vespers, the Gospel is sung by a deacon; the Instruction to the Liturgy of the Hours envisages the possibility of extending Vespers (and Lauds) with such readings taken from the Scriptures.

Solemn Vespers was celebrated with the students and staff of Blackfriars Hall and Studium, and in choir with the Dominicans were Capuchin friars and Oratorians.

This video is by no means ideal, but it is offered to the NLM as an example of how the modern Divine Office might be celebrated with solemnity and regard for the Church's musical tradition.

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