Video of the Sarum Vespers for Candlemas in Philadelphia
  • The official video of the Sarum Vespers for Candlemas Eve in Philadelphia is now up. Attended by over 700 people, it was likely the largest celebration of the Sarum Use since the reign of Queen Mary I of England, and possibly the first time Thomas Tallis's "Videte miraculum" was sung for its original purpose (responsory, First Vespers of the Purification) since his own lifetime. The video description has convenient timestamps for finding specific sections of interest.

    Click here for video on YouTube

    Click here for the official photo album

  • A very impressive and spiritually rich endeavour. I was prayerfully enraptured at every moment - so much so that I shant offer the slightest criticism or take note of any details (mostly of an organ-chant nature) that were not Sarum-like.

    We haven't even done this at Walsingham!
  • M. Jackson: "We haven't even done this at Walsingham!"

    If there's interest, I'm happy to help organize it. Most of my early experience in chant was under the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston's current music director, when he was previously music director of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio (my home parish before I moved to Philadelphia).

    I will be at OLW this summer for the priestly ordinations.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • James -
    I, too, will be at those ordinations and may likely be singing the lesson at them. On such occasions and on all solemnities we sing all three readings - the lesson by an instituted lector (vested & 'in choir'), the epistle by an instituted acolyte (sub-deacon), and the gospel by the deacon.

    If you are responsible for the St Patrick's vespers I admire you scholarship - only... (tee-hee) the crucifer should have been wearing a tunicle.

    (I'll mention you to Edmund when I see him next Sunday - and tell him about this video of yours.)

    Tell me more about the Durandus Institute.
  • "On such occasions and on all solemnities we sing all three readings - the lesson by an instituted lector, the epistle by an instituted acolyte, and the gospel by the deacon."

    I remember. I have made a similar arrangement for our solemn Ordinariate Masses at the Cathedral Basilica of Philadelphia. You can see in the photos of our last one in October, celebrated by the Ordinariate's vicar-general shortly after the canonization of St John Henry Newman, that we have a lector from the chancel schola sing the Prophecy (myself), the subdeacon sing the Epistle, and the deacon sing the Gospel.

    "If you are responsible for the St Patrick's vespers I admire you scholarship - only... (tee-hee) the crucifer should have been wearing a tunicle."

    Thank you. I am indeed the principal organizer of the Sarum Vespers, and now, the executive director of the newly formed Durandus Institute for Sacred Liturgy & Music, which aims to have a special focus on medieval uses and uses of the religious orders. I am already collaborating on a Mass in the old Carmelite Rite.

    The crucifer's tunicle was considered and purposefully omitted. The reason is because a crucifer is not normally envisioned at all for Vespers in the Sarum Use; the chapter would normally take their own places, and remain there after Vespers for Vespers of the Little Office, or Compline, and again leave individually. We added the crucifer for this celebration because an informal procession before and after seemed fitting for such an out-of-the-ordinary liturgy. But even for the occasions where a crucifer would have been used at Vespers in Sarum (such as the Easter procession), the Customary does not have him wear the tunicle. That would seem to be for Mass, as when the deacon/subdeacon wear theirs.

    "(I'll mention you to Edmund when I see him next Sunday - and tell him about this video of yours.) "

    Thank you. Please do.
  • Service Booklet for the Vespers can be found here.
  • I just noticed this query: "Tell me more about the Durandus Institute."

    I can copy and paste a relevant section from our Facebook page, which is our pro tem official web presence until I can get the website up and running.


    The Durandus Institute was formed by the primary organizers of the Sarum Vespers celebrated in Philadelphia on Candlemas Eve 2020. Our mission is to continue providing uplifting liturgical events in the Philadelphia metropolitan and surrounding regions, drawing from the rich patrimony of the Catholic liturgical and musical tradition. The Durandus Institute serves all approved forms of Catholic liturgy, with a special focus on the medieval uses and the uses of the religious orders.

    The institute takes its name from Giullaume Durand (c.1230-1296), also known as Durandus: a medieval French bishop and liturgical author. His most important liturgical work was the 'Rationale divinorum officiorum', a treatise on the symbolism and spiritual significance of church architecture and ceremonies of the Mass and Divine Office. The 'Rationale' was among the first books reproduced by Gutenberg or his associates after the invention of the printing press.

    We are available to assist parishes and small groups in building stable communities for regular singing of the Divine Office, workshops for priests and deacons on liturgical praxis, and consultation on special moments in the life of the individual Christian: christenings, weddings, and other such occasions.


    And for those interested, a commentary on the structure and ceremonies of this Sarum Vespers is now online on the New Liturgical Movement blog here.
  • SarahJ
    Posts: 52
    Tournemire and Langlais, heavenly!
  • They were indeed!
    But they are far from Sarum.
    We might have been treated to some Tallis or Blitheman, or Byrd.
    Too, the organ blaring away for the congregation to sing alternate verses of chant was far from Sarum.
    It is more like modern day Notre Dame or Vatican.
    Still, I'm not complaining - it was wonderful, and we can only hope that it will be repeated and emulated far and wide.
  • I have found it impossible to please everyone in every aspect of this liturgy. However, the organ selections were deliberately chosen for their inspiration from plainchant and suitability for long entrances and exits, without regard for national origin.

    So, too, was organ accompaniment for the psalm and hymn verses a deliberate choice, distinguishing this event as not an academic re-enactment of the 16th century, but grafting it back into the living continuity of the 21st century Church. People were struck by how nearly the whole congregation actually sang the psalmody. It may have been the largest congregation singing so much Latin psalmody at Vespers ever in North America. I could be wrong, but as far as I know, even the CMAA Colloquium has not had a Vespers with so many people singing the psalms together at once. I imagine one would have to go to Westminster Cathedral to witness such a thing.
    Thanked by 1m_r_taylor
  • Hearty congratulations to you on the success of your endeavour!!

    William Renwick