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St Augustine, Tonge Moor

Evensong & Benediction

It is part of the discipline of the ordained priest to say the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer each day. We are blessed that various members of the laity have, from time to time, shared in this continuous offering by the Church of prayer to the Father through Jesus his Son.

For centuries it has been the practice of parishes throughout the country to sing the Office of Evening Prayer on Sundays, though this has diminished somewhat over recent decades. At St Augustine's Evening Prayer is sung (Evensong) every 2nd Sunday of the month, as well as on every Sunday during Lent until Easter Sunday.

Evensong takes the form of Psalmody and the Magnificat taken from the Breviary (sometimes called Vespers), interspersed with readings taken from the Church of England's lectionary for the day. The appropriate Collects from the Book of Common Prayer conclude this part of the evening's worship. Immediately the rite of Benediction follows, during which we are able to reverence and adore Our Lord Jesus present in the sacramental host.

Benediction

Jesus said: "Wherever two or three gather in my name, there am I in the midst of them"; and again: "This is my Body which is given for you." Christians recognise the presence of the Lord Jesus in various ways: He is undoubtedly here with and among us as we worship Him and sing His praises. For many Christians the Eucharistic host is not simply a sign or symbol, but the Body of the Living Lord: it is He whom we worship, however we recognise His presence with us.

Incense

It has been said that after death we smell one of two things: the sulphur of hell or the incense of heaven. Holy Scripture uses incense to picture the prayers of the saints rising to heaven, and to honour - and illustrate the holiness of - God in heaven. Our incense at Evensong honours the presence among us of the Lord Jesus.

Approximately 3 or 4 times a year the arrangement of Evensong is varied as our evening worship uses the music of the Taize community. which comprises short phrases sung repetitively. There is a profound relation between the musical phrase and these few words that are sung "to infinity". This repetition of the same song is linked to a very ancient way of praying, including, for example, the Ave Maria in the West and the Jesus Prayer in the Eastern Churches. Sung with simplicity, we discover both the song itself and the prayer it expresses.


Services
Webpage icon Evensong Readings