« PreviousContinue »
SERVICES FOR THE CHURCH:
ORDER OF VESPERS, AND HYMNS.
“That they all may be one; as thon, Father, art in me and
V in thee, that they also may be one in us.”
N E W Y 0 Ꭱ :
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862,
BY JAMES MILLER, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Scrthern
District of New York.
RENNIE, SHEA & LINDSAY, STEREOTYPERS AND ELECTROTYPERS, 81, 83 & 85 CENTRE-STREET,
C. A. ALVORD,
This volume is prepared to meet an actual want in our churches here, and in the hope of its being of some use elsewhere. We needed a new collection of chants and anthems for our usual worship, and also a sufficient manual for our new evening service or Vespers. In few words the plan of the book may be stated.
In the first place, we have sought to give a regular morning and evening service which shall duly combine freedom and order, or the variety which is the spice with the constancy which is the bread of life, and save us at once from the monotony of a wholly set ritual, and the distraction of a wholly variable choice. Thus in the morning service, the two chants that may be sung severally at the opening and after prayer vary every Sunday in the month, and may moreover give place each to a versified hymn immediately following, so as to allow the same order to return once a month; or by using the hymns also, so as to allow the same order to return once in two months. Thus the service has a certain spontaneity and method combined, and the pieces may be sung without being announced or read, and at the same time they may be at once found in the book. There is ample room left for free choice in the remainder of the service, and the pieces to be sung therein may be selected at pleasure.
In the second place, we have given an extended and careful order of service for Vespers on very much the same plan, and have added a full selection of psalms for responsive reading, and of hymns especially adapted to this service. The idea of course is not new, for Vespers are as old as the Christian Church, if not older, and all of the great churches of Christendom, Rome at the head, have their vesper ritual. Our order is wholly Protestant, and in fact in some respects more bold and progressive than any other of our services; yet it retains much of the severe beauty of the ancient rule, and will be found to wake echoes between the old and new ages. Our esteemed brother, Rev. Samuel Longfellow, formerly of Brooklyn, has been the pioneer in this movement, and we can recognize his labors without sacrificing our own judgment. The service here given will be found to afford opportunity for the highest art of music, and at the same time to be within the reach of the simplest congregational worship. In fact, the musical portion is so full and varied as to be capable of being sung by any