Vespers This Weekend

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Photo courtesy Hope PR

Christmas Vespers, a Hope College tradition, is set to take place this Saturday and Sunday, December 1-2. The first Vespers was held on Sunday, December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The event has grown since that first service, and now Hope’s College Chorus, Chapel Choir, Symphonette, and other soloists and ensembles all participate in four separate services held throughout the weekend.

Vespers” is derived from the Latin term meaning “evening.” The term refers to a religious service typically performed at twilight by candle or lamp light. The first vespers took place as early as the fourth century, and since the sixth century has consisted of prayers, psalms, a lesson, the Magnificat, and an antiphon. The Catholic church, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches have all been known to use vesper services.

Hope’s Vespers will air on radio stations around the country this year. It was previously recorded for television in 2011, airing on WGVU and PBS affiliates throughout the US.

If you’ve missed a service, Van Wylen Library has the 2011 performance on video and audio recording. Audio and video recordings of past Vespers dating back to 1991 can be found in the catalog.

Tickets currently still remain available for two of the event’s four services: Saturday, December 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 2 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Hope Ticket Office online¬†or by calling 395-7890.

–Madalyn Muncy, Library Student Blogger

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