Everyone is invited to this beautiful evening of song, prayer and reflection on Wednesday, July 25 beginning at 7:00 PM. A festive reception will follow the service.
What is Evensong?
- Evensong is part of the daily office – very similar to the Catholic and Lutheran Vespers. It does not have the Eucharist (communion)
What does it contain?
- Evensong contains prayers that are either spoken or sung. The service ends with 3 collects (prayers) that usually reflect the theme of the day or season.
- Hymns appropriate to the day
- A psalm as well as two readings, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament are followed by two canticles: The Magnificat (song of Mary) and Nunc Dimitis (song of Simeon). Typically these canticles are sung by the choir alone, but can be and will be sung by the congregation and choir on July 25.
- Organ voluntaries (solos) at the beginning and end of the service. Benedictus composed by English composer Eric Rowley (1892-1958) will begin the service. This lush composition utilizes an organ’s ability to speak at a whisper and gradually crescendo to a roar and fall back to near silence. Toccata in D, from the pen of Marcel Lanquetuit (1894-1985) who was a student of Marcel Dupre (1886-1971) and former organist at Rouen Cathedral, will close the liturgy.
History of Evensong
The first Book of Common Prayer of 1662, a revision of the 1549 original regarded as the official Book of Prayer of the Church of England, lists the order of service.
In most British cathedrals and university chapels Evensong is held almost daily throughout the year. Some American churches do hold Evensong weekly, but most do it seasonally or on special occasions like All Saints, Pentecost, or a Saint’s Day.
Who was Saint James?
Saint James is the patron saint of Spain. According to legend, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. James was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee—it was at this shore that Christ called he and John to follow him. He is considered to be the first disciple to be martyred at his death, mentioned in the book of Acts; his is the only martyrdom to be recorded in the New Testament. Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) is the traditional 100km pilgrimage to the grave of the saint, and was hiked by lifelong Warrenton resident James Timberlake in 2016.