This is perhaps the most traditional cathedral service, dating back many hundreds of years. Interestingly, though, it is its very traditional quality that makes Evensong so special and deeply loved by so many people. Truro Cathedral Choir sings much of the service, which consists of psalms, ancient poems which have been the staple of Jewish and Christian worship for nearly 3,000 years, and other texts and anthems, which tap into the great Anglican choral tradition of over 500 years.
The two principle anthems are the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, which are the first words of the Latin titles for two passages from St Luke’s Gospel, the Magnificat being the great song of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Nunc Dimittis being the soulful reflection by Simeon in the Temple, who, on seeing the baby Jesus, knows he has seen the salvation of the Lord. Taken together, and often set to wonderful music, these two canticles, as they are called, are at the heart of Evensong, and are very moving. Although the congregation don’t participate actively, it is the very reflective nature of the service that makes it so meaningful.
This service lasts about 40 minutes. All welcome.