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royalcello

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Reply with quote  #31 
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Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist

A few years ago I went to a vespers service (is that the same as Evensong?) at Westminster Abbey. 

Evensong is basically Thomas Cranmer's combination of the Roman Catholic offices of Vespers and Compline.  I wonder if it possibly could have been Westminster Cathedral where you attended Vespers?

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Sadly there were more clergy than congregants present. 

So far our two Evensongs in Lichfield have not been well attended, with the choir outnumbering the congregation, but there were more today than yesterday, and those who did come have apparently spoken well of us, so we're hoping attendance increases thoughout the week.  Everyone fits behind the choir screen, with the choir occupying the central stalls and the congregation sitting in the other stalls.  However, Sunday's Civic Eucharist in the Nave is expected to be quite well attended.


Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #32 
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  wonder if it possibly could have been Westminster Cathedral where you attended Vespers


No it was the Abbey.  I've never been inside Westminster Cathedral.

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LegitimistJacobite

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Reply with quote  #33 
It does not really matter how many layfolk are present, the worship is offered to God, not the people.  In my monastery we sing the office at various points during the day, and it quite rare for a layperson to be present in the nave.

By the way, Peter, make sure you sit up in the Choir, not in the nave, to get the full effect.  I am not sure about the arrangement now, but one used to queue up in the South Aisle to be admitted to the Choir.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #34 
Today I took a day trip to Tamworth, where I visited the magnificent Tamworth Castle, built by a contemporary of William the Conqueror, and the beautiful medieval St Editha's Church.  Unlike my other destinations planned for this trip, I had never heard of Tamworth until I got here, so it's particularly exciting to discover such unexpected gems.  I also stopped by the Moat House, where the future Charles I stayed as Prince of Wales in 1619 while his father James I stayed in the Castle.

Kieran, the three-year-old son of my fellow choir members and baptismal sponsors Monica and Jason, whose laptop I am borrowing, wants me to use some smilies.  Here they are.  
LegitimistJacobite

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Reply with quote  #35 

Sir Robert Peel was MP for Tamworth.  The so called 'Tamworth Manifesto' he issued in 1834 is seen as the founding document of the new Conservative Party, which grew up from the old Tory Party.

royalcello

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Reply with quote  #36 

Yes, I saw his statue, in front of Thomas Guy's 1701 Town Hall.

Peter

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Reply with quote  #37 
I was at a family meal last night and, while I had said nothing except privately to my mother at the time, I mentioned tentatively to my great-niece's parents that I was less than impressed with the christening. My remarks were not received badly, in fact the baby's father turned out to have been furious himself. Brought up Catholic, though no longer observant, like me he felt that the service was devoid of solemnity, respect and, indeed, religion. My niece was more sympathetic, saying that the service was inclusive and in no way off-putting to those not religious. Personally I felt it jolly well ought to have been! But that's me.

Her husband had noticed something which escaped me. By his words the priest baptised young Chloe into the Roman Catholic church. It turns out he was formerly a Roman Catholic priest, and before that had been raised an Orthodox Jew! He committed this further apostasy, moving to the Church of England, presumably because he wished to marry. And as far as I can tell lost all religion in the process. One of his first actions as vicar was to abandon Evensong on the grounds of poor attendance. Which, as LJ said earlier, rather misses the point. The insertion of an RC form of words into a Church of England baptism was interpreted by my nephew-in-law as a slip of the tongue and more evidence of uncaring sloppiness, not anything more sinister. No doubt he was right.

Anyway, I am still anticipating a proper religious service on Thursday, as well as very pleasant company afterwards. I noted LJ's advice and will try to arrive around 4:30, which I think is the earliest for free admission (as opposed to £15!), so as to get a good seat in the Quire, as it seems to be called. I'm very much looking forward to both the service, which ought to be an experience, and to meeting you gentlemen.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #38 
Greetings from London!  Saw the Changing of the Guard this morning, bought my ticket for the Buckingham Palace State Rooms for tomorrow, saw the new Queen Mother memorial, went to the Banqueting House to pay my respects to Charles I and "almost" got "arrested" by costumed Puritan re-enactors who seemed to think it was 1659 and that royalism and choral worship were prohibited, and sang my first Evensong at Westminster Abbey!!!!  Amazing day.  Also a lovely dinner at Rules, London's oldest restaurant, which Charles Coulombe had recommended to me. 

For the information of those attending on Thursday, if you are facing west away from the high altar in the chairs in the crossing (where most of the congregation will be seated), I'm on the left (Decani), second row, second from the (east) end of the choir stall.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #39 
A note for Peter, LJ, and anyone else who would like to surprise us by showing up tomorrow (Thursday): apparently if you arrive before 4:15 and identify yourself as a friend of someone in the choir, the Abbey staff may be able to seat you in the quire rather than in the crossing or nave further away.

Also, I am not sure if it will be possible for me to get back in the nave after processing out and taking off my vestments, or for you to stay there, since the Abbey closes after Evensong and they seem to be fairly strict about where people go and don't go.  If the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier doesn't seem to work out as a meeting place, I (and presumably also Mr Foreman) will wait outside near the entrance above which Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Russia (1864-1918) and certain other 20th-century individuals are carved. 


royalcello

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Reply with quote  #40 

Just got back from a delightful dinner at a London pub with Peter, LegitimistJacobite, and former IML Secretary General Don Foreman.  As always it was fun to put faces to names.  I also enjoyed meeting Martinus in Lichfield on Saturday.  I encourage remaining UK members to contact me so that similar meetings can be arranged before I return to the US on August 20. 

Peter

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Reply with quote  #41 
It was a very pleasant evening. As predicted I found the fare on offer at the Collegiate Church of St Peter notably more to my liking than that at the Parish Church of St Anne, and the company after was most enjoyable. I was slightly nervous as to whether the meeting arrangements would work and in fact they didn't, due to the zealous way everyone was shepherded out of not merely Abbey but precinct after the service, but we managed to meet anyway and had a good time.

Usually due to geographical separation one doesn't often meet in person someone only known on-line, but when it happens I've found that it's invariably good. Theodore and LJ were no exception, and while I hadn't known Don since he doesn't post (but apparently reads sometimes, so hi Don if you read this) it was a pleasure meeting and talking to him too. If anyone is going to meet Theodore during his Southwark stint I would be up for it, or perhaps we will meet again in any case.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #42 
Something I wrote elsewhere about Evensong:

"Evensong was very fine. One can wander about a great historical monument, national landmark and wonderful architectural achievement like the Abbey as a tourist and appreciate it, but I found I appreciated it far more deeply as a space and a place while participating in what it was built for, worship. Not that I did worship, just sat quietly and I hope reverently while others did, but it made me feel far more rooted in the Abbey's near thousand-year history than I ever have before. The service was formal, liturgical and ritualistic, which is how I like my religion, casual happy-clappy stuff actively repels me but grave, beautiful and formal expressions of worship, conducted in the same way our ancestors did and our posterity perhaps will I find profound and moving. And the effect of the choir's voices reaching and soaring in that vast, beautiful space was truly something to experience."
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #43 
There is much to be said for a worship service were even those who no longer love the one worshiped still love the service.

Anglicanism has that to offer the world, a service that can reach the heart, tie it to the past, and give it hope for the future.

Of course, I should hope that regular attendance to service would eventually tie the heart to Him who is worshiped as well...



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royalcello

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Reply with quote  #44 
Thanks Peter.  I'm glad you enjoyed "our" Evensong and hope you will consider returning sometime when the Abbey's own choir is in residence. 


royalcello

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Reply with quote  #45 
Met GBoleyn for drinks in Oxford tonight which was very nice, though quite brief as he had a meeting and I had to catch the bus back to Bicester.

Off to Blenheim Palace tomorrow!

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