Choral Evensong

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

Dates of services of Choral Evensong in 2024; 25th February; 31st March; 28th April.

Music and Readings on Sunday 25th February, 2024, The Second Sunday of Lent

Responses:  Byrd                                          
Psalm 74
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: Byrd (The Short Service)
Lord’s Prayer:  Stone                                      
Anthem: Ave Verum Corpus: Byrd  
NEH: 468 Through the night of doubt and sorrow

NEH: 64 Be thou my guardian and my guide
Readings; Genesis 12: 1-9; Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-16

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four hundred years ago, much of the English language in the service may sound old-fashioned but its meaning is not out of date.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