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Choral Evensongs

All are invited to this service in English, with the Laurensensemble, conducted by Wiecher Mandemaker, Hayo Boerema (organ) and Rev. Mirella Klomp.

We pray Psalm 80. The Lessons are Zephaniah 3.14-20 and Luke 1.5-20.

Preces and responses are composed by Hayo Boerema (1972*), the Magnificat   and Nunc Dimittis by John Blow (1649-1708). The anthem is ‘Man dream no more’, Martin Peerson (1572-1650). The hymns are ‘Come, thou long-expected Jesus’ and ‘Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes’. We hear the organ voluntaries ‘Von Gott will ich nicht lassen‘ (J.S. Bach, BWV 658) and ‘Von Gott will ich nicht lassen’ (J.L. Krebs).

Evensong is the form of Evening Prayer that is distinctive to the Church of England and other Churches of the Anglican Communion. It includes elements from the medieval Latin evening services or Vespers and Compline, and has been largely unchanged since the first English language Book of Common Prayer of 1549.

The heart of the service consists of the following sequence. After the opening responses sung by the Minister and Choir, the root of the Christian faith in the Old Testament are acknowledged by the singing of Psalms, and by the reading of the First Lesson from the Old Testament. The Choir then sing Magnificat, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s words of praise, as recorded by St Luke, when she had been greeted by Elizabeth as the Mother of the Lord. The Second Lesson is from the New Testament. The Choir sings Nunc Dimittis, again from St Luke’s Gospel, the words of Simeon when he recognised the infant Christ as the light of the nations and the glory of Israel. After an affirmation of faith in the Creed, there are more sung prayers and an Anthem.

The cathedrals and other great churches of the Anglican Communion maintain a strong choral tradition, of which the singing of Evensong on most days of the week is an important part. As is customary at Choral Evensong, much of the service is sung by the Choir alone to special settings. We are all invited to make or own offering of worship in every part of the service, whether we ourselves are silent, listening, speaking or singing. We do not remain seated if attending a concert, but as worshippers we stand for the canticles, hymn and Creed, sit to hear Gods’ word, and kneel or sit to pray.