Wellington Cathedral of St Paul will host eight Anglican choirs from all over the Wellington region as over 120 singers join together in leading the beautiful evening liturgy of Evensong on Sunday 16th September.
Choral Evensong has its origins in the ancient order of St Benedict which required the regular recitation of the Psalms, Prayers and Songs from the New Testament and early Church. Evensong is an amalgamation of the two monastic services of Vespers (meaning Evening) and Compline (from the Latin complere, to fill up), so called because it completed the day. The present order has remained unchanged for 400 years and in that time, a great number of musical settings have been composed to enhance the service.
Evensong presents a unique opportunity to be immersed in an ancient sung service, allowing the congregation to be still as the choir sings prayers and praises to God. The congregation is able to share fully in the worship by joining in the hymns and responding in heart and mind, as well as voice, to all that is going on in the service.
Choirs from the churches of St Peter’s on Willis St, St James’ Church Lower Hutt, St Mary’s Karori, St John’s Johnsonville, and the Waikanae Anglican Parish Church Choir will join both the St Paul’s Chorale and Wellington Cathedral Choir for the service, which will feature favourite settings of the Anglican tradition by Bruckner, Stanford and Wood.
Although the Cathedral has a regular Evensong service every Thursday at 5.30pm and Sunday at 5pm, this is the first to include church choirs from around the area. “We really want to encourage the parish choirs around the Diocese, some of whom struggle to continue with evensong services on their own” said Director of Music Michael Stewart. “This combined service is a way for us to celebrate this contemplative liturgical treasure together, and to enjoy fellowship as we worship together”.
The Canon Precentor at the Cathedral, Rev Simon Winn said: “As the mother church of the diocese we are delighted to welcome our visiting choirs and we invite people to join us – whether you have never experienced Evensong before, or if you wish to re-acquaint yourself with an
The traditional liturgy is made relevant through preaching, and this particular service will see the Reverend Jenny Dawson, from Pukerua Bay, as our preacher.