Our next Choral Evensong is on Sunday, 12th June at 6.30pm, and all are warmly welcome to this beautiful service! (For those who have found in the past that following the Prayer Book is difficult, a new Liturgy Book for Choral Evensong has been prepared.)
Music & Readings
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: Weelkes (The short service)
Psalm 104, vv. 1 – 9
Lord’s Prayer: Stone
Anthem: O Lord, the Maker of all Thing: Mundy
Hymns: NEH 12, On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s cry; NEH 475, Ye Holy Angels Bright
Readings: Ezekiel 1: 4-10, 22-28a; Mark 1: 1-13
The service of Evensong was established by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), and is based on the medieval monastic Office of Vespers.
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than four hundred years ago, much of the English language in the service may sound old-fashioned but its meaning is not out of date.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:
To begin, worshippers are invited to confess their sins, and the Minister forgives them on behalf of God. They are then prepared for the story that will follow.
The second part contains the story of God’s redeeming love. Beginning with a Psalm and a Bible reading, it then continues to the New Testament with the Magnificat, otherwise known as the ‘Song of Mary’, another reading, and the Nunc Dimittis or ‘Song of Simeon’. This second section reaches its climax with the Creed – the affirmation of what Christians believe.
To finish, our prayerful response is to God who has revealed himself in history, in Jesus Christ, and in the Church.