Choral Evensong

Choral Evensong is usually held on the last Sunday of the month. The next one is at 6.30pm on Sunday, 25th August, 2024. All are warmly welcomed to this reflective service.

Future Dates in 2024 are: There is no Evensong in July. 25th August, 29th September

Music and Readings on Sunday 25th August, 2024

Readings: Hebrews 13: 16-21; Luke 13: 10-17

Responses Ayleward

Lord’s Prayer Farmer     

Psalm 116      

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis     Wood (in D)

Anthem: Round me falls the night, by Drese

NEH 439   Praise to the Holiest in the height (Gerontius)                      

NEH 331 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide (Eventide)   

The service of Evensong was established by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), and is based on the medieval monastic office of Vespers and Compline.

Usually held near sunset and drawn almost entirely from the Bible, Evensong provides a restful, peaceful and contemplative time when we can commit ourselves to God. During the service we praise and thank God, ask God to be with those in need, and for his blessing to rest upon all who have come together in prayer. It is as if one is dropping in on a continuing evening conversation between God and his people, which began many centuries ago, and that will continue for centuries to come.

Following the Order in the Scottish Prayer Book of 1929, the congregational participation is primarily prayerful with attentive listening. The music and texts, whether sung by all or sung by the choir on behalf of all, are offered to God, lifting our prayers, meditation and praise to God.

Written by our ancestors more than four hundred years ago, much of the English language in the service may sound old-fashioned but its meaning is not out of date.

The service is in three parts:

Part 1: Worshippers are invited to confess their sins, and the Minister declares God’s forgiveness. They are then prepared for the story that will follow.

Part 2: Contains the story of God’s redeeming love. Beginning with a Psalm and a Bible reading from the Old Testament, it then continues to the New Testament with the choir singing the Magnificat, the prayer Mary said when she hears that she is going to bear God’s Son, otherwise known as the ‘Song of Mary’. There is then a Bible reading from the New Testament, before the choir sing the Nunc Dimittis or ‘Song of Simeon’, the prayer Simeon said when he first saw the newborn Jesus. This second section reaches its climax with the Creed – the affirmation of what Christians believe.

Part 3: Our prayerful response is to God who has revealed himself in history, in Jesus Christ, and in the Church.

Taken from the 1929 Scottish Book of Common Prayer, we use the Liturgy Book below.