It was a chilly but sunny Friday evening, and the Lincoln Singers had trundled up to Durham to do the weekend singing in the cathedral. First port of call— evensong. Evensong is one of the great Anglican choral traditions. It’s sort of like having Christmas Eve candlelight service all year round. Like any BCP service, it has certain elements— an OT and a NT reading BUT no preaching, except by special exception (say a special festival day). The apostle’s creed said and the Lord’s Prayer sung. The Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, which is to say sung versions of Mary’s famous tune, and that of Simeon as well, plucked from the A.V. versions of Luke 1-2. Then there is the singing of a full Psalm…. on this particular Friday the Psalm was 107…. all verses sung. Of course there are prayers as well, but there are rarely hymns sung by the congregation. The best part? Getting to sit in the stalls with the choir, and singing along with them at appropriate junctures.
If you ever get a chance to go to Evensong when a great choir is leading it…. carpe diem. You won’t regret it.