Evensong, Compline and Other Services
Approximately once monthly during the academic year, the Grace Church Choirs offer Choral Evensong on Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. This service of music and scripture is a jewel of the Anglican choral tradition and is about 45 minutes in length. The choir sings a setting of the Magnificat (Song of Mary) and Nunc Dimittis (Song of Simeon) as well as the Psalms appointed for the evening, the Preces and Responses and an anthem. A reception follows in The Pavilion.
Choral Compline (Previously “Candlesong”)
The ancient monastic office of Compline is sung by members from Grace Church Choir at 8 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month during the choral season. The church is made dark with candles offering the only illumination. The smoke of burning incense wafts upward through the air, representing the prayers of God’s people rising heavenward. The service is led by the officiant and choir singing a cappella, allowing the congregation to be still, reflective and prayerful in the presence of the Divine.
Lessons and Carols Services
During the months of December and January, in place of Choral Evensong, two services of Lessons and Carols are offered at 4 p.m. In December this service features An Advent Procession during which the choir sings from various stations throughout the church. In January, Lessons and Carols for Epiphany feature music and scripture focused on the Three Wise Men, following their discovery of the infant Jesus.
On Christmas Eve, Grace Church offers two identical sung Eucharists at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. with organ and choir; a spoken Eucharist with a quartet and Carols takes place at 10 a.m. on Christmas Day. The First Sunday after Christmas (known as Holy Name) is a spoken Eucharist with Carols.
Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. The Grace Church Choir and Choristers offer a Sung Eucharist at 7 p.m. that evening during which the Imposition of Ashes takes place.
Palm Sunday begins Holy Week and initiates the transition from Lent to Eastertide. We offer Tenebrae on Holy Tuesday at 7 p.m. This “service of shadows” features the Men’s Compline Choir singing Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony in a darken church with the gradual extinguishing of candles. There are many worship opportunities during the Paschal Triduum, also known as “The Three Days” leading up to Easter morning. A Sung Eucharist with the Washing of Feet and Stripping of the Altar takes place at 7 p.m. on Maundy Thursday after which those who wish to stay and pray during the “Night Watch” may do so until midnight at the Altar of Repose in the Messiah Chapel which is decorated to represent the Garden of Gethsemane. Our Good Friday service is at 12 noon, during which meditations and music are offered and the Passion of Christ is sung; Easter Vigil and the First Eucharist of the Resurrection on Holy Saturday at 8 p.m.; and our regular 8 a.m. Spoken Eucharist and 10 a.m. Sung Eucharist with Brass, Choirs and Organ on Easter Day.
Other special services include including The Presentation of Christ in the Temple: Candlemas, The Feast of Pentecost: Whitsunday, The Feast of the Ascension, Trinity Sunday, and the annual Blessing of Animals in October.