5.30pm Monday to Saturday; 3.30pm Sunday
Evensong is a service offering the opportunity for peace and quiet reflection at the end of each day, accompanied by beautiful choral music. The service is open to all and many visitors stay to listen to the choir and experience this unique tradition.
The service follows the structure laid out in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer:
Following sung opening prayers and responses, the Choir sings the appointed psalms of the day, and we then hear two Bible readings, one each from the Old and New Testament. These are interspersed with two sung canticles: Magnificat – the prayer spoken by Mary when she heard she was to give birth to Jesus (Luke 1: 46-55); and Nunc dimittis – words spoken by Simeon on the presentation of Jesus in the Temple as a newborn (Luke 2: 29-32).
The congregation then stands to affirm their faith, and further responses are sung, concluding with three special prayers known as Collects. The choir sings a short anthem, after which the congregation is led in prayer. The service concludes with a sung blessing.
Typically, on Mondays Evensong is sung by Lay Vicars (the adult singers) of the Cathedral Choir without the choristers, and on most Fridays the music is entirely without organ accompaniment. On Wednesdays and during school holidays, Evensong is usually sung by a visiting choir.
All are welcome at Evensong and an information sheet is provided.
Details of the music can be found on our Services page.