Choral Evensong and Compline
Choral Evensong in an Anglican Church is a magnificent act of worship. Sung daily since the sixteenth century, this service is one piece of the total worship of God offered by Christian people at every hour of the day and night in every part of the world.
Drawn almost entirely from the Bible, its primary purpose is to proclaim the wonderful works of God in history and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Its secondary purpose is to evoke from the worshiper a response of praise, penitence, prayer and obedience.
Much of the music is sung by the Choir to classical and often elaborate settings dating from the time of the English Reformation (and earlier) to the present day. The form of worship is drawn from the first Prayer Book of King Edward VI (1549) and subsequent revisions. The congregation is invited to join silently in worship with the Choir as they offer prayers, Psalms, canticles, responses and other music on behalf of the congregation. The congregation is encouraged to join the choir in the singing of hymns and various other parts of the service.
Drawn from the most contemplative of the monastic offices begun in the middle ages, the candle-lit service of Compline offers music from Gregorian Chant and early polyphony to the contemporary music of modern mystics. Offered to God at the end of the day as a prayer of thanksgiving, Compline is also a plea for serenity and peace.