Come to Evensong
“Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing thy praises O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (Book of Common Prayer, p 64)
These words come from an ancient prayer called the Phos Hilaron, so named from its original Greek wording. In English we translate this as “Gracious Light”, the gracious light Christ gives us that will keep us safe during the night. In monasteries and churches all over the world the Phos Hilaron is chanted during Evening Prayer while the first candle, known as the Vesper (Evening) Light, is being lit.
The 6pm Sunday Evening service at Christ Church of the Ascension this weekend will be a festive Choral Evensong. Evensong is a beautiful service and it is the most distinctly “Anglican” liturgy we have. Our choir will lead us in an elegant setting for Evening Prayer that was composed by Richard Ayleward (1626-69), once Organist and Choir Master of Norwich Cathedral in England. It is one of the very oldest Evensong arrangements, dating to the Restoration era of England.
Praying Evening Prayer is a crucial part of my spiritual practice and personal Rule of Life. I encourage you to pray it as well. It is deeply traditional to Christian faith. Various forms of Evening Prayer have been lifted up by monks, nuns, friars, priests, and laity from the beginning of Christianity. Evening Prayer is a direct link to our Jewish roots. Judaism offers its own form of Evening Prayer in synagogues the world over. When the sun goes down, we all praise God together for the day that God gave us, which now is ended, and we prepare for the night ahead. Please join us Sunday November 3, 2019 at 6:00 pm for this time of beauty and prayer. It is a fabulous way to end a Sunday and to prepare your heart and mind for the week ahead.
Pax et Bonum,