Vespers & Special Events at St. John's
Throughout the year, St. John's offers special services in addition to regular Sunday worship, including contemplative evening prayer and musical vespers such as the Holden Evening Prayer service and Baroque Vespers with music by the Christopher Street Collegium. See our calendar below for upcoming events.
Join us on Thursday May 4, 2023
Holy Wednesday, or "Spy Wednesday," marked the day when Judas Iscariot decided to betray Jesus. Its evening ushers in the three days of Tenebrae, meaning "darkness".For centuries the church celebrated Tenebrae liturgies for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings of Holy Week, focused on the betrayal, crucifixion, and death of Christ. These were often celebrated the night before, starting on Wednesday evening.
Our Baroque Tenebrae Vespers carried on this ancient tradition, featuring 15 readings from the Book of Lamentations, each followed by a sung version of the reading, in Latin, composed by François Couperin. His Leçons de ténèbres pour le mercredi saint were composed for Holy Wednesday, 1714, to be performed at the Abbaye Royale de Longchamp, by two sopranos, organ, and viola da gamba.
In this beautiful liturgy of lament, candles were gradually extinguished as the church recalled its ancient descent into darkness. This opportunity was all the more rare for Couperin's exquisite French Baroque expression of Jeremiah's ancient Lamentations.
No tickets are required; seating is first-come, first-served.
Wednesday April 5, 2023 at 6pm
St. John's Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher Street, New York, NY
Dr. Janet Sora Chung, Organ, Co-artistic Director
Adam Young, Viola da Gamba
Audrey Fernandez-Fraser, Soprano, Co-artistic Director
Nola Richardson, Soprano