Sunday, December 18, 2011 4 PM
Evensong and Evensocial
In the quietness of the cathedral and the shadows of the evening light the priest breaks the silence with a chant: O Lord, open thou our lips, and with equal crisp consonants the choir responds on behalf of all the faithful gathered for prayer: And our mouth shall show forth thy praise!
This fourth Sunday in Advent marks the beginning of the Cathedral 20s and 30s group Evensong and Evensocial where every month young adults and young professionals (or those who just feel young at heart) gather for the Cathedral's Sunday service of Choral Evensong followed by a reception. This first service on December 18 will be followed by a Christmas party in the Cathedral College refectory. Beginning in 2012, services will be followed by a fellowship hour reception. Evensong and Evensocial promises to bring young adults from the Cathedral and across the city together with other members of the cathedral community for prayer, contemplation, and fellowship in one of the principal liturgies of the Episcopal Church. This spiritual and social event has been in the planning stages for months.
The 20s and 30s have long contemplated a worship service and fellowship hour outside of the Holy Eucharist bringing young adults/young professionals together for contemplation and prayer, engagement in discussions of faith, and mutual sharing of issues that affect our communal life. Equally important is the invitation to individuals from all backgrounds to join us, especially those who may come to us from different traditions and for whom the regular Eucharistic service creates a challenge.
Why have the Cathedral 20s and 30s chosen evensong from among all the principal liturgies of the church for a gathering that is both spiritual and social? Evensong is an ancient service that finds its roots in the Medieval English church. Since the 16th century it has become one of the most beloved liturgies of the Anglican/Episcopal Church. Evensong provides each of us the opportunity to participate in one of the daily offices that requires very little from the worshiper except to be fully present and open to the workings of the spirit in all of us. Following in the tradition of the monastic daily offering of evening prayer, choral evensong is celebrated with the singing of glorious canticles (Magnificat and Nunc dimittis)rhythms of psalmody, and offering of petitions in sacrifice and praise to God in thanksgiving for the day, for renewal by the Holy Spirit, and hope for a new day. The poetry of the texts and the sheer beauty of the music inspire us to pray. Evensong can be a container for the immensity of the human spirit: our brokenness, troubles, our love, joy, and desires. The service offers us an opportunity to encounter God in quiet contemplation; at its conclusion one is renewed, consoled, whole.
Please join us on December 18 and once each month during 2012 for Evensong in the great Choir of the Cathedral and Evensocial on the cathedral close.
Future Evensong and Evensocialwill be posted on the cathedral website, the 20s and 30s page, the Cathedral Congregation e-newsletter, and the Sunday Cathedral Life. For additional information and questions about the Cathedral 20s and 30s Evensong and Evensocial, please email email@example.com.