The Service of Choral Evensong is offered
at Saint Andrew's Church at 8 p.m. on the First Thursday
evening of each month, October though May, and at 4:30 p.m.
on the Third Sunday afternoon of each month, September
through May. The Thursday evening services are sung by
our Parish Choir and usually are followed by a brief musical
recital and a dessert reception in Brooks Hall. The Sunday
afternoon services are sung by our Schola Cantorum and
include a sermon by a Guest Preacher or by a member of
the Saint Andrew's clergy staff.
What is Choral Evensong?
Text below is adapted from an explanation by the Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St. Cuthbert of Durham, England
Evensong is a tiny fragment of something else; it is a part of the worship that is offered to God by Christian people every hour of the day and night, 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 his people, which began long before you were born and will continue long after you are dead. So, do not be surprised or disturbed if there are some things that you do not understand straight away. For a brief moment, you step into the continual stream of worship that is being offered to the end of time. You are one with those who worship here on earth and in heaven.
Evensong is drawn almost entirely from the Bible. Its primary purpose is to proclaim the wonderful works of God in history and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Its second purpose is to evoke from the worshipper a response of praise, penitence, prayer, and obedience.
Much of the English of the service is the language spoken and written by our ancestors more than four hundred years ago; it may sound old-fashioned but its meaning is not out of date.
The service is in three parts. The first part, which is quite brief, prepares the worshipper for the story that is to follow. The second part is the story of God’s redeeming love, beginning with the Old Testament (the psalms and the first reading), proceeding to the New Testament (the Magnificat or Song of Mary, the second reading, and the Nunc Dimittis or Song of Simeon), and reaching its climax in the affirmation of what Christians believe (the Creed). Finally, the third part is our prayerful response to God who has revealed himself in history, in Jesus Christ, and in the Church.