This evening, I was fortunate enough to have enough time to get to the cathedral for Evensong. It was a wonderful service lit by candles in the early evening as dusk settled around us. Our canon who is one of the greatest homilists I have heard in the last 30 years was on point for the service. Her message was the we cannot be with God unless we are with the human community. I was grateful for the message because it has been very true for me. I must be with my human community to reinforce my faith, my service and my life in many aspects.
The nave of the cathedral was very cold; stone floors and stone all around. It’s never totally warm but can be pretty cozy when I park myself over one of the floor heating grates. I will often stand during the sermon to warm myself by one of the many radiators in the transepts where I will often sit on Sundays if I am not serving. I usually sit in the East transept where I can see the sun filter through the high stained glass windows casting a single ray upon the floor next to the altar. The acoustics are wonderful in my seating area too. It’s a wonderful spot for the best prospect of the morning services.
For Evensong, we gather chairs in something of a rectangle with the choir seated under the organ. Participants are seated in four directions with candlelight piercing the darkness. There is a peacefulness that is found in the dimly lit nave, punctuated by participants that enter one by one. Behind the choir under the organ are the open doors to the busy street outside. If one happens to be sitting on the steps of the university classroom building directly across the street, one can see the candles through the choir. It’s a beautiful sight; many students gather to watch.
A mid-week Evensong can add a moment of reflection in our otherwise busy schedules. As the weather begins to warm signalling a much-welcomed spring, the sounds and sights of an Evensong service add a spiritual thanks for us getting through the winter. Though the nave floor of the cathedral was chilly under my feet, the warmth of the gentle candlelight coupled with the hushed tones of the service were quite warming indeed. There is much to be grateful for and much to be thankful for. A Wednesday Evensong was perfect!