The Glasgow Archdiocesan Music Association has promoted sung Evening Prayer (Vespers) in the Archdiocese over a number of years, both through the provision of liturgical resources and, with the help of the St. Mungo Singers, the support of celebrations of Evening Prayer. This has included ecumenical services for which Vespers have proven very suited.
Vespers can be held to celebrate a specific Feast, and most recently the St. Mungo Singers joined the congregation of St. Teresa’s. Possilpark, to honour their patron saint. The choir set the ambience for the service with the singing of Walford Davies “God be in my Head” and Pam Murray’s “Mary, full of Grace”. Then the service began with “Holy God, we praise thy name”, a rich sound in the beautiful setting of St. Teresa’s to which the choir added depth with harmonies and descant.
After a warm welcome from Fr. Hendry, the Parish priest, candles were lit as the choir sang “Hail Gladdening Light”, a beautiful setting by Geoffrey Shaw of a hymn which is very appropriate for Vespers. The psalms for the service were Psalms 112 (a new setting by Mgr. Gerry Fitzpatrick in responsorial form) and Psalm 62 (a setting in hymn form with words by John Bell to a well known Scottish tune). The Canticle was Noel Donnelly’s setting (words and music) of the Canticle from First Ephesians.
After the reading, clarsach music from Noel Donnelly led into the singing of the responsory “From the rising of the sun to its setting” before choir and congregation sang the Magnificat to the well-known tune of “Amazing Grace”. After intercessions for the needs of the parish and wider community, and the blessing preceded by the singing of John Bell’s “God to enfold you”, the service ended with the hymn often used for Vespers “Before we end our day, O Lord”, sung to the familiar tune “Belmont”.