The service of Evensong is unique to the Anglican church and is derived from the older Roman Catholic service of Vespers (or evening prayer). Its structure and wording are contained in the Book of Common Prayer, which dates from 1662.
The standard Evensong service involves the whole congregation in the singing of psalms and canticles (The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis which are extracts from Luke’s gospel set to simple music to allow everyone to join in.) The service also has hymns and a choir only anthem. The rich, traditional language of the old prayer book can be reassuring and affirming as it is spoken collectively, by those attending. We, typically, hold these services once a month on the third Sunday.
At Christ Church, we also maintain the tradition of full Choral Evensong 4 or 5 times a year. This service is entirely sung by the choir and usually includes an introit, (a short anthem sung at the start of the service), sung responses, the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and an anthem. The music has a rich Anglican musical heritage. The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis have been set to music by many composers over the past 350 years. These services are, by their nature, more reflective. The congregation are invited to experience them by prayerful, attentive listening. This allows the music and text to lift our prayers, praise, and meditation to God.
We sometimes also visit local Cathedrals and sing Evensong there which is a magnificant experience.
We are sing Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral on the 21st February at 4pm – do come along to support us if you are able.
The Christ Church choir regularly sing Choral Evensong under their Music Director Tim Eyles. If you would like to find out more or would like to join our friendly group contact Tim Eyles on musicdirector@Christchurchswindon.co.uk
Our Next Choral Evensong service is on Sunday 18th February at 4pm and we are singing:
Introit: Almighty and Everlasting God’ by Orlando Gibbons
Responses: (Philip Radcliffe)
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: T. Tertius Noble in B minor
Anthem: ‘It is a thing most Wonderful’ by Philip Moore
Organ Voluntary: Fugue in B Minor BWV544 by JS Bach
Conductor: Richard Sutcliffe
Featuring the choir of Christ Church and guests
Organist and Director of Music: Tim Eyles
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