Choral Evensong

Some Questions and Answers about Evensong

music 10What is Choral Evensong? “Evensong … is a very tiny fragment of something else:  it is a fragment of the worship which is offered to God by Christian people every hour in every part of the world. When you come to Evensong here it is as if you were dropping in on a conversation already in progress — a conversation between God and people which began long before you were born and will go on long after you are dead.”

Why celebrate Evensong? Evensong offers to us the opportunity to gather and spend time in prayer while listening and participating in music that is especially selected to bring us into deeper understanding of the mysteries of our faith.

How long does Choral Evensong last? Approximately 35-45 minutes

What should I expect at Evensong? Hymns, readings, Anglican chant and anthems sung by the choir

Will there be a sermon? No.

Why does the choir sing so much at Choral Evensong? In Choral Evensong the choir sings on “behalf of” the congregation. The settings of the Canticles of Mary (Magnificat) and Simeon (Nunc Dimittis) are always sung by the choir alone. The Suffrages (prayers) and the Responses between the Officiant and People are also sung between the Officiant and Choir on behalf of the people.  This allows the congregation time to meditate and enter into deeper prayer through words and music.

What does the congregation do in Evensong? The congregation joins in the singing of the hymns, the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. The congregation joins in silent meditation through the prayers and canticles.

How will I know what I should do during the service? A booklet outlining the service will be available (click here to view a pdf of an Evensong booklet): choral evensong booklet

What is a canticle? A canticle (from the Latin canticulum, a diminutive of canticum, song) is a hymn (strictly excluding the Psalms) taken from the Bible.

Why is there a reception following Evensong? As important as it is for us to have time to reflect and ponder the mysteries of our lives, it is also important that we have fellowship with those in our community. The reception gives us a chance to talk and share with those who have celebrated with us.

Some of this information comes to us from the website of Trinity Episcopal Church, Manassas, Virginia and is used by permission.