The First Church Choir sings its final Choral Evensong of the season on the 4th Sunday of Easter, “Good Shepherd Sunday”. Responses by Bernard Rose and the Worcester canticles by Herbert Howells will be heard for the second time this season. Charles Wood’s ever-popular evening anthem “Hail Gladdening Light” will be presented as the anthem. The Rev. Dr. Nancy Livingston officiates, Kevin Jones conducts the choir, and Tyler W. Robertson serves as organist.
Choral Evensong, or sung evening prayer, is intended as a daily liturgy in the Anglican church. When Thomas Cranmer penned the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549, he combined all of the hourly monastic prayer services into two daily services, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. In most British Cathedrals, Choral Evensong is sung six days a week. It is increasingly popular in the United States, and has spread beyond The Episcopal Church into some protestant churches with traditional liturgies and music.
The First Church Choir is a 43-member, mixed-voice, adult choir that sings for the 11am service three out of four Sundays each month during their season. They also sing Choral Evensong on the third Sunday of each month as announced. Professional section leaders assist the musicianship and sound as the choir explores five centuries of great choral music. The choir participates in the Congregational Concerts series, including fall and spring choral concerts, Christmas Lessons and Carols, services of Evensong and special music for Holy Week and Easter Day. The choir was in residence at Gloucester Cathedral, UK, in 2015 singing daily services at the Cathedral, and at Norwich and Lincoln Cathedrals in 2018. They have been accepted for a residency week at Winchester Cathedral in 2022.