Thinking Anglicans

opinion

Alan Wilson continues his BCP series in The Guardian with The Book of Common Prayer, part 5: The importance of evensong. “Evensong provides a peg on which to hang deeply personal reflections, most of them nothing to do with Christian doctrine.”

Chris Elliott, the readers’ editor of The Guardian, writes about his paper’s coverage of the pope’s visit and religion in general.

Julian Armitstead writes in The Guardian about Cardinal Newman: Oxford’s soon-sainted son. “The former CoE clergyman’s beatification can be cheered by local Anglicans too – he left a legacy to be proud of.”

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Observer’s book of beauty.

Tomorrow is Back to Church Sunday. Paul Handley marks the occasion with this article in The Guardian: Putting the pull into pulpit. “Do not underestimate the power of a good priest in getting people back to church.”

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Malcolm+Bill DilworthRobert Ian WilliamsBill MoorheadFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Alan Wilson is spot on about Choral Evensong as is the quote from Grace Davie in her analysis of English Religion ‘belonging without believing’. Evensong is a significant common theme in the 2006 collection of essays entitled ‘Why I am still an Anglican’.

evensongjunkie
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evensongjunkie

It was evensong that brought me back into the fold.

After getting laid off in construction work back in the late 1980’s, I got a plane ticket to England. Suffice it to say, somehow I ended up at St. John’s/Cambridge where George Guest and his gang had me in a weeping mess at the end of the service.

Life hasn’t been the same since.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Certainly the festive Evensong at Westminster Abbey, where the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury both shared in the simple worship, was an excellent example of ecumenical togetherness. The ‘censing of the altar at the Magnificat was an impressive act of ritual observance performed by the Dean (who so obviously knows his liturgical proprieties) and must have informed His Holiness that the Church of England can still put on ‘a good show’ when called upon to do so. Also, the post-interlude at the Tomb of Edward the (English) King Confessor, where incense was again offered – this time by the… Read more »

evensongjunkie
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evensongjunkie

Would die to know what music was sung at that evensong, Fr. Smith…any takers?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

evensong junkie. Here, specially for you, is the programme of the Festival evensong attended by the Pope and the ABC in Westminster Abbey: “The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ is played by Robert Quinney, Sub-Organist. Music before the Papal Address: James McVinnie, Assistant Organist, plays: Ricercare à 6 from A Musical Offering Johann Sebastian Bach BWV 1079 (1685–1750) Fantasia BK 62 William Byrd (c 1540–1623) Voluntary for Double Organ Henry Purcell (1659–95) Organist of Westminster Abbey 1679–95 Allegro maestoso from Sonata in G Op… Read more »

evensongjunkie
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evensongjunkie

Nice touch with the Reger Benedictus, who hailed from the same place as the pope, Bavaria. And a Lutheran Hymn to end it(!) So it wasn’t an evensong after all, was it?

John Roch
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John Roch
Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Sorry, evensongjunkie, I forgot to include the Stanford setting of the Magnificat – without which the service may not have been a Solemn Evensong with incense. Apologies.

Bill Moorhead
Guest
Bill Moorhead

“The full order of service is on the Abbey website
http://www.westminster-abbey.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/42748/web-WA-Papal-service.pdf

No matter how frustrated we sometimes get with Our Holy Mother the Church of England, there are some things she does exceptionally well!

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

I wouldn’t classify the Westminster Abbey service as choral evensong… it was a simple ecumenical service. there was no confession of sin or absolution, out of respect to the Holy Father.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“there was no confession of sin or absolution, out of respect to the Holy Father.”

I don’t understand this reasoning at all. Why is omitting the Confession respecting the Pope? Isn’t he a sinner, too? The problem with the Absolution is easily solved by using the form traditionally found after the Confiteor, which doesn’t pretend to have anything like sacramental character.

You also seem to be saying that the lack of the General Confession and Absolution means that it’s not Evensong. That doesn’t make any sense to me, either. Could you explain what you mean?

Malcolm+
Guest

Bill, as usual, RIW is talking through his hat. Despite having been an Anglican, he is utterly ignorant of Anglican liturgics. Despite being a Roman Catholic, he is equally ignorant of Roman theology.