Evensong

Hello, all!

I would apologize for not posting anything yesterday…except, nothing very exciting happened. We had class, I made chili mac & cheese for dinner, and that was really it. But now for news of truly interesting occurrences!

This morning, we had class at a different part of the University of Gloucester campus. This section of the school is much older than the area where we had class last week, and I thought it worthy of a few photos. :)

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This afternoon, several of us rode in the top of a double-decker bus to the nearby city of Gloucester. There, we had the privilege of taking part in the Gloucester Cathedral Evensong service.

A gorgeous view of the Cotswolds from our splendid spot on the bus.

A gorgeous view of the Cotswolds from our splendid spot on the bus. :)

A rough equivalent to the Catholic Vespers, Evensong is an evening prayer service of the Anglican church in which many of the prayers are sung. The Gloucester Cathedral has an excellent boys choir, and we were blessed with the opportunity to hear them sing this evening.

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Gloucester Cathedral

As expected, the service was absolutely breathtaking. It began with a long piece played on the Cathedral’s absolutely stunning pipe organ, followed by a Psalm 147 sung by the boys/men’s choir.

As the choir began its first song, my jaw fell open and a huge smile crept over my face. I have heard quite a lot of beautiful music in my life, but this service ranked near the top. The bell-like voices of the younger choir members were exquisitely balanced by the rich, deep tones of the men. The gorgeous mixes of melody and harmony danced around one another, bouncing off of the cathedral’s ornate, aging walls, falling into my ears like dewdrops of golden sound. We sat in the nave, surrounded by carvings, staring into the eyes of stained glass saints. The atmosphere was gorgeous, the singing absolutely incredible, and the whole experience — almost surreal.

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Today is the Feast Day of St. Barnabas, so the New Testament Scripture reading mentioned him. In addition to the many choral elements, the service also featured communal prayer, two Scripture readings, and a congregational reading of the Apostle’s Creed. This seemed more like a concert than a church service, but it was still wonderful to praise God in such a manner. :)

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(If you’d like to listen to an Evensong service, to get a taste of the amazing sound, I found this example on the BBC’s website. And there’s also this shorter example, in which the Gloucester choir sings the Magnificat.)

You needed to buy a pass in order to take photos inside of the Cathedral, and the office was closed by the time we arrived, so I have no photos within the church. However, it was so beautiful, and there is so much history inside that we didn’t get to see, that Regan and I are going back tomorrow. You can expect lots and lots of pictures in my next post :)

Have a lovely evening!

Love,

Taylor

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