(Choral) Vespers for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
  • cjlansberg
    Posts: 11
    I am preparing my choir for a Vespers (not solemn) service for the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at a Carmelite church in Los Angeles. This is new for the parish, so it will be mostly choral psalms alternated with chanted verses. I have an Anglican chant for the first psalm (110), thinking of singing "O Come Ye Servants" by Tye for psalm 112, and then 2 psalms in Latin set by Victoria (126 and 147). Also the Hassler version of Ave Maris Stella (also alternating).
    I've been to a few Vespers services at the Colloquium, but have never put one together.
    I can't exactly go by the "book" because I don't know what that would be, and I want to engage whatever congregation may be there as much as possible with respsonses and possibly simple but good chant tones that they can pick up on. Any ideas?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Well, the Vespers ought to be an actual rite. If they are OCD that would be the Carmelite edition of the Brev. Rom. If they are O.Carm. it would be according to the Carmelite Rite, unless you wish to do LOTH, which I believe both have adopted. But you have indicated four psalms, so I have guessed that you do not wish to use LOTH. The Hassler is a bit tricky if the books use the Urban hymns; I don’t remember if the AMS was edited in the 1620s, but honestly, immemorial custom.

    The verse and response after the hymn has a simple tone (also used in the new rite for “Laus tibi, Christe”). The “Domine adjuvandam/Gloria Patri” is easy enough since all three parts (including “Deus in adjutorium”) are sung to the same melody. Ditto for the “Deo gratias” and “Amen” after “Benedicamus Domino” and “Fidelium animae” (hopefully they parrot the lowering of the voice for the latter). You can use a simpler BD if necessary. There aren’t really responses otherwise... There is a “Deo gratias” at the chapter and the response to “Dominus vobiscum” and an “Amen” at the collect. But the congregation is still engaged, such as during the incensation at the Magnificat. Depending on the mode of the antiphon on the Magnificat, there are several easy alternatim settings. The antiphons, being doubled according to the feast day (i.e. sung in full before and after) can be sung by the people if they have heard it before. Or, you can sing it to some kind of chant and then choose whatever Magnificat you want to allow for the alternation, such as the Grassi in 8G or the Parisian tone.

    As far as not solemn goes, Fortescue is pretty clear on how to do it in a parish church without coped cantors and whatnot.
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,380
    I don't know what place vernacular has outside of LOTH (If it's not expressly forbidden, there's certainly an immemorial custom of Latin interpolations); is Tye going to be inserted into the traditional rite, or the extra psalms into the Liturgy of the Hours?
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 527
    There are a number of Carmelite chant books in an obscure place over at musicasacra.com here.

    I would go with the last of these, which is from 1959, and is titled Proprium Missarum et Officium Ordinis Carmelitarum Discalceatorum ; see p. (43) for 1st Vespers, sung on the eve of the feast.

    There are 5 psalms (which is the case with the Roman form of the Divine Office), the same ones as are used in the common of feasts of Our Lady, to wit:

    Ps. 109 - Dixit Dominus
    Ps. 112 - Laudate pueri
    Ps. 121 - Laetatus sum
    Ps. 126 - Nisi Dominus
    Ps. 147 - Lauda Jerusalem

    Which all may be quite beside the point, as I would really think that the first step in planning this sort of thing is to find out from whoever is in charge what the "book" is.

    Because if you aren't going "by the book", it's not vespers.

    No?
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  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 274
    @MatthewRoth "The antiphons, being doubled according to the feast day" In EF Vespers according to the 1960 rubrics all antiphons are always doubled.

    @{Richard Mix} Vernacular has, of course, no place in EF Vespers. However, in some parts of Europe at least in the 19th and early 20th century "folk Vespers" were quite popular - i.e. Vespers translated to the vernacular, often simplified or shortened (often antiphons dropped; sometimes less than five psalms), celebrated publicly as a devotion.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Thanks for the link. But, we need to know if the friars are OCD or O.Carm first!

    I understand that. But, one could very easily find a book that has semidoubled antiphons for the Little Hours of that day. I do not known when the last edition of the Carmelite rite breviary was published. And actually, the OCD book should have the old system...

    I also will put my cards on the table here: devotional Vespers which mix and match rites or use the vernacular for the ancient offfices really annoy me... It means that you’ve put on a nice concert organized like worship, and if a cleric attends, he’ll discover he has to go home and pray Vespers.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 274
    "we need to know if the friars are OCD or O.Carm first!"

    I guess they are actually sisters - Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart https://carmelitesistersocd.com/ Am I right, @cjlansberg ? If I am, they are neither OCD, nor OCarm, but they reference the discalced branch as their roots and OCD texts probably can be used without harm. (Their clergy should definitely be consulted.)

    "I do not know when the last edition of the Carmelite rite breviary was published." Discalced Carmelites have, since the very beginning, used the Roman (not Carmelite) breviary, so the 1960 rubrics are definitely in effect for EF celebrations in the order.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Right, but see their breviary above, last revised in 1959. Even if 1960 rubrics apply, and honestly, I don’t usually observe them myself, the book itself would not have them.

    They would be OCD. They have a house for students at my alma mater.
  • cjlansberg
    Posts: 11
    Thank you all for your help! I'll be ready for next year. As it turns out, since there was some missed communication amongst participants, we decided it was best if we sang the Feast Day Mass on July 16. They are OCD, and the Provincial, realizing that the materials for that particular Vespers were specific to the Carmelites, (and since he hadn't been informed of the Vespers anyway) asked me if the choir could sing on July 16. If anyone is in Southern California and would like to attend this Mass, it's at St. Therese in Alhambra. The readings of the Feast replace the readings of the Vigil Mass, but it's still the Sunday Vigil. It's an OF Mass, but the choir will sing the Mass in Latin, including the Sequence (Flos Carmeli), and Marian motets.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Hey, that’s quite a generous response. Good for him.