18 September 2016

A Happy Memory of an Evensong Past


Once upon a time I attended a most uplifting Evensong using the 1928 U.S. rite where, after the Psalms were sung in Anglican chant, the Gloria Patri was not sung.  No, using the permissive rubric of that Prayer Book, the choir and congregation sang Gloria in excelsis Deo to Sarum plainsong, and during the chanting the Altar was censed as the congregation lit candles one from another, candles which they had been given prior to the service.

The somewhat dark old church with poor lighting became ablaze with light.  A little child, a boy of perhaps three or four in his father's arms, looking all around the Church at the brilliant gleaming candlelight called out in joyful voice "Light of Christ! Light of Christ!  Light of Christ!" and the congregation in one of those rare spontaneous moments of angelic unity called out in resounding reply "Thanks be to God".