Is your child texting about Evensong?
  • Easily the best page on Facebook. :)
  • If they are, let us hope they eventually "graduate" to the real thing, which is called Vespers.
  • Um, excuse me, but Evensong is a very real thing - which is not by any means to slur, um, vespers.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,019
    And here is a video of His Holiness Pope Benedict participating in Evensong.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    For me, there is a stigma of Evensong being a specifically Anglican thing, since they seem to have the monopoly on that specific liturgical form. My understanding is that Evensong and Vespers are similar, and according to a brief Wikipedia search, Evensong was originally created by combining Vespers and Compline into one service. There is a specifically Anglican flavour (did you like how I spelled that?) to Choral Evensong, with its splendid singing and soaring child trebles. Vespers can be done in much the same way if the necessary musical forces are gathered to do so. However, the content and structure will be somewhat different. Enjoy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rAkOW_XM2k
  • Clerget -

    Yes! I liked the way you spelled that.

    You are correct that evensong is a comixture of vespers and compline.

    I shant debate the niceties of evensong vs vespers with you (I love them both), but will simply point out to those who are still in the dark, and remind those who aren't, that evensong is now, as of the establishment of the Ordinariates, a Catholic liturgy. Some of us have always known that it was. Only troglodites would continue to insist that it isn't. (And, I'm quite sure that you are not a troglodite!)

    And, many thanks for the link to Vespers.
    Nice!
  • Roman Catholics have Vespers, which goes back well over a thousand years.

    Anglicans—whose founder is Henry VIII (16th century)—have Evensong.

    That is where the ceremonies come from.

    Ordinariate adopted the Henry VIII stuff, which is only natural and fully understandable.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,192
    Well, Chaucer called it evensong, and he was a ways before Henry VIII.

    As was the Sarum use, which the Ordinariate considers part of its heritage.
  • Evensong is a strictly English (i.e., the language, not the island) event, in part because of its origins.

    Now that the Ordinariate is Catholic, Evensong, as distinct from Vespers is a Catholic liturgical event. Since the Ordinariate is NOT merely a part of the Roman Rite, the idea that every parish should celebrate Evensong rather than Vespers is (to put it mildly) absurd. That said, I think the Ordinariate folks could teach most vernacular-locked parishes a thing or two about ars celebrandi.
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  • Well, Chaucer called it evensong, and he was a ways before Henry VIII.


    Sometimes the meaning of a word can change with the passage of time. For example, the word 'gay' today means something different than it did 100 years ago. Chaucer was undoubtedly referring to Vespers.
  • KyleM18
    Posts: 150
    Can we just sum it up as:
    Roman Use (Rite?) Catholics have Vespers;
    Ordinariate Use Catholics have Evensong.

    The Anglican Heritage has now joined, in part, the Catholic Church, making some exercises perfectly licit. Am I correct, MJO?
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  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 383
    Maybe I just wanna call Vespers Evensong. Fight me.
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  • Allowing as how both Sarum vespers and compline are substantially preserved in evensong it is hardly accurate (or smart!) to dismiss it as an Henrician novelty.
    Certainly, it will take more than that chip on someone's shoulder to make it such.


    Roman Catholics have Vespers...

    Roman Catholics also have Evensong.
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  • GerardH
    Posts: 159
    One point of speculation, and one question...

    Now that Evensong has been made licit by Rome, and given that since Vatican II, lay people who celebrate the Office in the absence of clergy still do participate in the Prayer of the Church (i.e. liturgy), could it be said now that Anglicans in celebrating Evensong, do truly celebrate the liturgy of the Church, even though they remain separated from it, and with invalid orders and eucharist?

    So all Catholic parishes are not required to celebrate Evensong, but could they if they wanted to? What elements would need to be present - Ordinariate clergy, Ordinariate laypeople?
  • Gerard -

    Interesting questions, indeed.
    Especially your query about the licitness of Anglicans saying evensong. I'm guessing at how the hairs would be split over this. Since Anglicans are not Catholic (lay or otherwise) it could not be said that their celebration of otherwise valid and licit offices is a participation in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, since they are celebrating what is a Catholic liturgy that does not require clerical leadership, they may very well be participating in that life. It could very well be that the hairs might be split over the matter of intent, though, since no sacrament is involved, even that might be moot.

    As for Catholic parishes celebrating evensong? This is not something that they could do officially, any more than they could celebrate Byzantine orthros. I think, though, that they could have guest Ordinariate (or Byzantine) folk celebrate it for them, as an inter-ritual-educational event of some sort.

  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,863
    Allowing as how both Sarum vespers and compline are substantially preserved in evensong


    err looking at the Sarum books I find that the Sarum Vespers is almost identical to the Traditional Roman usage (not the stuff made up in the late 1960's) this would make Anglican evensong substantially different. I do know that Cranmer took bits of the Sarum when it suited his ideas... considering how many in England chose to be tortured to death than attend these new services shows they were not that similar!

    Anyway I believe even-song is the English word used for Vespers, and was used well before the founding of the 'church' of the obese polygamist
    'Night-song' was used as a term for Compline. According to the 19th Canon of Elfric (Archbishop of Canterbury AD 955-1005) these Offices (tides) were said separately at 6pm and 9pm respectively.

    I agree it would be odd but not wrong to use the word Evensong instead of Vespers to refer to the Divine Office, but many would assume those attending 'evensong' will be going to an Anglican or Ordinariate service.

    N.B. the 'Liturgy of the hours' is also the ancient English term for the Divine Office, although most people use it as a term for the modern Roman Office, rather than the ancient Office of the Church.
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 383
    Now that Evensong has been made licit by Rome, and given that since Vatican II, lay people who celebrate the Office in the absence of clergy still do participate in the Prayer of the Church (i.e. liturgy), could it be said now that Anglicans in celebrating Evensong, do truly celebrate the liturgy of the Church, even though they remain separated from it, and with invalid orders and eucharist?


    I think the question comes down to, is it possible for a non-Catholic or even a non-Christian to enter into the Mystery of Christ's Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection and thus into the Mystery of God's interior life. I think the answer is yes, at least in a qualified sense, insofar as their intellect and will are in conformity with that Mystery, which would be more or less limited by the individual's beliefs.
  • tomjaw, you are correct to stress the point that Sarum Use was 100% Catholic, whereas the Church founded by Henry VIII adopted very different ideas Re: transubstantiation, male-only priesthood, papal supremacy, and so on. Anglicanism was only 'Sarum' in a the most superficial way, and this was one of the items which helped people like John Henry Newman eventually come to the correct understanding.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Evensong is in essence the ideas of the breviary of Quiñones with a choir.
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  • BGP
    Posts: 213
    "As for Catholic parishes celebrating evensong? This is not something that they could do officially, any more than they could celebrate Byzantine orthros. I think, though, that they could have guest Ordinariate (or Byzantine) folk celebrate it for them, as an inter-ritual-educational event of some sort."

    Participation in the office of another use celebrated by those to whom it belongs satisfies the obligations of those bound to the office.
    Now- it seems that assistance from Roman Catholics in singing of Byzantine or Ordinariate offices by those to whom they belong is perfectly acceptable. Following on, would the presence of only 1 former Episcopalian legitimize Evensong and transfer it from Devotional to Liturgical status?

    At a certain point law becomes a burden rather than a help.