Last Sunday, there were about 40 in the congregation attending Vespers and Benediction at St Wilfrid's Church in York. I am fairly sure that this is the largest number yet, and compares with an attendance of about 90 at the Latin Mass earlier in the day.
It seems that Vespers has a pulling power all of its own, as there are almost always new faces in the congregation, some of whom have travelled huge distances. Many are visitors to York who have stumbled on Vespers by chance. Others have made the deliberate decision to travel to York specially for Vespers.
To anyone who has never attended Vespers in the traditional form, I recommend giving it a try. Essentially, it consists of the chanting of five psalms, followed by a hymn and the singing of the Magnificat. There is also a short reading and a collect. The chief attraction for me is the music. Each psalms is to a different chant mode, which keeps you alert, although the verses within each psalm all follow the same pattern, which simplifies matters.
I also find attending Vespers a great help in improving my understanding of Latin. Because certain unusual words come up time and again within each psalm, I find that my Latin vocabulary improves with each time I attend. It is also improves one's fluency in reading Latin.
Another bonus is being able to stay on for Benediction.
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