While the Chapel is currently closed to visitors, our ministers and musicians have selected the Choral Vespers worship service below to rebroadcast/re-post at the time when we would normally hold the service (Thursday at 7:00 p.m.). The service shown below from February 28, 2019, was selected for its music and prayers that can speak to us afresh today.
A little over a year ago, we were fortunate to have a visit from the choir of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in London, where former Duke Chapel Dean Rev. Dr. Sam Wells is the vicar. Their singers joined the Duke Vespers Ensemble for a service of British sacred music. Most of the music was composed or arranged by another college dean, the Rev. Dr. Henry Aldrich. A dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Dr. Aldrich was an eighteenth-century cleric and music lover with a keen interest in music of the past.
Though the anthem and psalm texts are appropriately sombre for the season of Lent, the service concludes with a more modern anthem that has a highly appropriate message of hope for the uncertainties we are currently facing. The St. Martin-in-the-Fields ensemble sings "O Radiant Dawn" by the contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan, which includes these words:
O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of eternal Light, Sun of Justice:
come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
Isaiah had prophesied, “the people who walked in darkness have seen the great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.” Amen.
This order of service can help you follow along and identify the music:
- Organ Voluntary
- Choral Introit — "Call to remembrance," music by Richard Farrant (1530–1580)
- Hymn — "Where Charity and Love Prevail"
- Psalm Motet — "Out of the deep," music by Henry Aldrich (1647–1710)
- First Lesson — Ruth 2:14–23
- Canticle — "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart," music by Henry Aldrich
- Second Lesson — 2 Corinthians 3:1–18
- Anthem — "O Lord, I will praise thee," music by Henry Aldrich, recomposed after Giacomo Carissimi (1605–1674)
- Hymn — "Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation"
- Choral Benediction — "O Radiant Dawn," music by James MacMillan (b. 1959)
- Organ Voluntary