We had a wonderful weekend at Cambridge 2/3 April 2016. The music was superbly directed and enthusiastically sung. Long-standing friendships were strengthened and new ones made.
An unusual aspect of the evensong at Queens College was that it was the first we had ever done entirely by ourselves without any members of the host institution’s clergy being present. Whether this was intended or not is open to discussion. But we checked that we had found the correct lessons, lit the candles and started almost on time. Happily, one of our singers is an ordained C of E minister and she provided us with a quiet and meditative focus to our prayers which was greatly valued by those present.
Here we are at the end of the second day at Great St Mary church, where (according to the vicar’s comments at least) we sang Choral Evensong in both the morning and the evening. It’s true of course that the Order for Morning Prayer sung by us as Choral Mattins (which is what we actually sang in the morning …) as one of the daily Anglican Offices, is very similar in structure to Order for Evening Prayer sung as our Choral Evensong. Indeed I remember very well an occasion at York Minster when the annual Legal Service was a choral Mattins. There were lots of judges, clerks, barristers, solicitors and senior policemen present. The minister intoned the collects after the responses – and used all the evening ones by mistake. ‘Lighten our darkness’ sounded very odd at 11:30 in the morning. I seemed to be the only person to notice this.