Around Oxford Taylor Reformation

VESPERS & CANTATA Sunday 19 May 2019, Exeter College

This article was originally posted on the Taylor Reformation blog which has now become part of the Taylor Editions website with a dedicated Reformation Pamphlets series.

This service is based on the service of Vespers (Abendgebet) from the Protestant Church in Saxony, Germany. Vespers forms the framework for the main spiritual offering of this service, Bach’s Cantata ‘Lobe den Herren’, BWV 137.

Vespers is one of the monastic offices, for early evening. Its central features are psalmody, readings, the Magnificat, and prayers. This evening’s setting of the Magnificat is the 1611 Magnificat super Surrexit Pastor Bonus, by Michael Praetorius. This is a troped Magnificat, in that the verses of the Canticle are interspersed with German Eastertide hymns.

This term the Bible stories illuminated and illustrated in the Chapel’s windows provide the lectionary for Services. This Sunday’s first lesson Belshazzar’s feast [Daniel 5] may be found in middle section of the window above the arch on the left hand side as you face the altar. The second lesson is taken from John’s Revelation, and may be seen in the last window on the right hand side.

The address will be given by Professor Henrike Lähnemann.

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