Choral Evensong is the Anglican equivalent of Sung Vespers and epitomizes the glory of the Anglican choral tradition. Vespers or Evensong is the office (prayer service) set for late afternoon – early evening and its prayers and cadences reflect the human biorhythm of that time in the day. The activity of the day is drawing to a close and we transition into the coming evening, bringing a focus of reflection and thankfulness at the twilight of the day with its fading of the sun’s rays and the lighting of the lamps for evening.
It was at Choral Evensong, that I can trace at the age of 15, my own serious conversion to a lifelong pattern of Christian worship and practice. As I sat and listened to the beauty of evensong’s call and response rhythm I remember thinking that I had not known there was anything quite so sublime as this.
At St Martin’s we are committed to the reintroduction of Choral Evensong on the second Sunday of the month at 4:30 pm. Mindful of the need to work within our current musical resources, the service will be sung by our quartet of four paid singers, singing acapella supported by congregational hymn singing. This will nevertheless add $200 to our monthly music costs and the generous support of those who love Choral Evensong would be appreciated. The service will be held in the choir, emphasizing an intimacy with the congregation sitting also in the choir alongside the quartet.
On November 11th, which is a second Sunday of the month, we will celebrate our patronal festival on St Martin’s day with Choral Evensong with the full choir. Rabbi Howard Voss Altman, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth-El will be a guest preacher on this occasion.