Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Q: What is "evensong"?
A: According to choralevensong.org, evensong is a "peace-inducing church service in which the ‘song’ of voices sounding together in harmony is heard at the ‘even’ point between the active day and restful night, allowing listeners time for restful contemplation." The tradition of sung evensong as it is known today goes back to Reformation, and is still part of the worship life of many Anglican, Episcopal, and other churches today, particularly in the U.K. However, the roots of evensong lie centuries earlier in the the monastic practice of the "Divine Office" or "Liturgy of the Hours," which are short prayer liturgies chanted at certain hours each day and night––as many as eight times every 24 hours! Like most evensong services, ours draws from the hours of Vespers (Evening Prayer) and Compline (Night Prayer). In a basic sense, each Saturday when we gather at Abiding Presence to sing our vespers service, we are continuing the tradition of which Evensong is a part. However, nowadays the word "evensong" usually refers to a music-filled evening service featuring plenty of choir singing. Our service features chants based on the tune VENI EMMANUEL (better known as "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel") with our Abiding Presence Choir and Handbells.