Choral Evensong – December 2; Georgetown Day School Chamber Singers – December 3

Wednesday 2nd December at 6PM: CHORAL EVENSONG

Choral Evensong is sung at Epiphany on the first Wednesday of each month at 6PM. At Evensong this coming Wednesday, December 2nd the Epiphany Schola will sing music by Giovanni da Palestrina (1525-1594) and Thomas Weelkes  (1576-1623). The service of Choral Evensong lasts about half an hour and traditionally takes place in the afternoon or twilight hours. It combines readings and prayers from the Book of Common Prayer with sung canticles and an anthem. It still follows the Anglican form of service which emerged from the reigns of King Henry VIII and his son, King Edward VI, following England’s disestablishment from the Church of Rome and the institution of the Church of England – in the newly nationalized vernacular. As the Evening service rite evolved (a result of the merging of the monastic/Catholic evening ‘hours’ of Vespers and Compline – rituals that went back to the early centuries of the Church) through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it became modified and refined. In America, the English service survived the dissociation of the colonial Anglican Church from the Church of England during the War of Independence. As the nascent Episcopal Church grew and thrived in the new nation, so too did its reverence for and cohesion with much of the liturgy and form of the erstwhile ‘mother’ Church. Thus, the tradition of Choral Evensong – a staple of the Anglican rite – has remained part of the American liturgical landscape over the past two centuries. Today, in this country, as in England, the Evening Prayer service of Choral Evensong holds special resonance both for regular churchgoers and for non-sectarian visitors. Whatever the motivation for attendance, all are invited to respond, in contemplation, to the beauty, richness, serenity and tradition of the music and prayers, and to find a sense of connectedness binding present to ancient past.


If you wish to look forward to the Christmas spirit, come and join us at Epiphany for the Georgetown Day School Chamber Singers in a free concert of holiday music before they perform at the LIGHTING of the NATIONAL TREE. Under the direction of Benjamin Hutchens, the 30-voice choir of young women and men grades 10-12 will perform music for Advent and Christmas.  Hear some of your favorite seasonal music as well as lesser-known gems. The GDS Chamber Singers have been featured on for 5 years at the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree and have tour internationally each year.  Please consider joining us during your lunch break on the Thursday and bring a friend.

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