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A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“If a pope were only ever applauded, he would have to ask himself whether or not he was doing things right.”
— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (2016)

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PDF Download • Vespers Organ Accompaniments
published 10 June 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

84247 stained NE OF THE MOST AWESOME things we do at my parish is Sunday Vespers. The whole congregation sings, alternating between Men & Women. It is beautiful beyond anything I could have imagined, although it took us a few months to get going. This would not be possible without the 465-page book I mentioned here, which was created by Benjamin Bloomfield. 1 The Magnificat changes each week, and I accompany Vespers on the organ. (Reminder: The men and women alternate, sitting on opposite sides of the congregation.) So, what scores do I use to accompany the (ever-changing) Magnificat antiphon & verse?

Well, you can see them if you wish (see below). You’ll notice the harmonies underneath the psalm tones are missing, because I like to improvise them.

These scores are very ugly—they are for private use only.

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Epiphany

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Holy Family

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 2nd Sunday after Epiphany

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 4th Sunday after Epiphany

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 5th Sunday after Epiphany

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Septuagesima Sunday

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Sexagesima Sunday

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Quinquagesima Sunday

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Low Sunday

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 2nd Sunday after Easter

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 3rd Sunday after Easter

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 4th Sunday after Easter

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 5th Sunday after Easter

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Sunday after Ascension

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Pentecost Sunday

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • Trinity Sunday

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 4th Sunday after Pentecost

* *  (Magn. Ant. + Verse) • 5th Sunday after Pentecost


For some reason, I find it easier to improvise—rather than read—harmonies for psalm tones.

If you have never done Vespers before, this xerox sheet is (perhaps) the best way to begin.



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   I also spoke about that book when I wrote about his Tenebrae book, which is likewise phenomenal. Before we started using his book, we used a xerox sheet which made it easier to understand Vespers.