[Online] Choral Vespers Worship Service Rebroadcast

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Choir singing during Vespers service
7:00 pm
[Online] Choral Vespers Worship Service Rebroadcast
Duke Vespers Ensemble

While Duke Chapel is closed for live services, we are rebroadcasting selected services of Choral Vespers and Choral Evensong on Thursdays at 7:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm respectively.

Today’s Vespers service took place originally on March 21, 2019. Music for the service includes two settings of the evening hymn Christe qui lux es et dies (Christ who art the light and day) by the English Tudor composer Robert White (c.1538–1574), and it ends with a contemporary setting of the same words by American composer Thomas Pavlechko (b.1962), who has been active throughout the United States as a composer, organist, and church musician. 

As the service was originally broadcast during Lent, the Psalm is sung to plainsong where verses are sung alternately by cantor and choir. A similar practice can also be heard in William Byrd’s Nunc dimittis – though here, the alternation is between verses in plainsong and those in simple, hymn-like polyphony.

The imagery of light following darkness is an important element of Vespers, and the music for this service speaks with great eloquence to our present rather dark time: and to the light to come.

Music in this service:

  • Christ, who art the light by Robert White
  • Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days (LAND OF REST)
  • Psalm 74 (Plainsong)
  • Nunc dimittis by William Byrd
  • Christe qui lux by Robert White
  • Holy Spirit, Truth Divine (CANTERBURY)
  • O nata lux by Thomas Pavlechko


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