Choral Evensong is a uniquely Anglican/Episcopal tradition whose purpose is to evoke from the worshiper a response of praise, penitence, and prayer.
The performance at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, will take place in St. Mary’s Chapel at The Bishop’s School, 7607 La Jolla Boulevard.
The repertoire will include Preces and Responses by Ruben Valenzuela, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Arvo Pärt in a rarely heard liturgical setting, and the sartorial anthem “O Salutaris Hostia” by the Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds.
St. James will offer a regular program of choral evensong services in 2019 that are free and open to the public.
“For a generation who struggle to sit in silence without taking out their phones, quiet reflection is hard to come by,” said Music Director Alex Benestelli. “Attending a choral service offers an oasis in the busy working day—not just because it is an escapist 45 minutes, but because it is a participation in something significantly other to ourselves.”
“People are free to choose the extent to which they engage with the worship, which is in many respects more passive than in Sunday services,” he added. “At Evensong, the focus is on listening, and worshippers do not take communion.”
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