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Welcome to Living Tradition

9/9/20 | Music | by David Sinden

Welcome to Living Tradition

Earlier this year, 2020, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, St. Peter's Church celebrated a milestone: 30 years of regular services of Choral Evensong. 

We had hoped to celebrate this anniversary with a festive series of Choral Evensong services in the 2020/21 season. But with in-person worship and singing off the table for the foreseeable future, we begin this series in a new way: virtual conversations about music and liturgy that we're calling Living Tradition. These conversations will explore the tradition of Evensong from its roots to its use here at St. Peter's, both in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and in recent years.

We hope you will join in exploring this rich tradition now while looking forward to the day when Choral Evensong can once again be offered at St. Peter's.

These virtual conversations will be offered on Zoom so be sure to visit our Upcoming Living Tradition Conversations on Zoom page for links to each session. Our series is flexible, and as circumstances change we will too. If you are not already subscribed, you may also wish to subscribe to St. Peter's weekly email newsletter, News from the Rock. 

Living Tradition fall schedule

Sunday, September 27 — 1:30 p.m.

What is Evensong?

This initial session of the Living Tradition series explores the liturgy of Choral Evensong (also known as Evening Prayer). We will discuss its historic pattern and its use at St. Peter's, both in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and in the last three decades.

Sunday, October 11 — 1:30 p.m.

Processions, Preces, and Prayers

With special guest: Dr. Robert Lehman, organist and choirmaster at the Church of St. Michael and St. George here in St. Louis. Dr. Lehman is an accomplished composer of music for Evensong, including settings of the Preces and Responses and of the Evensong Canticles.



The Psalms have been called "the backbone of Evensong." With special guest Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves, Director of Music for Children and Youth at St. Paul's, Winston-Salem, N.C., we will examine the special relationship this book of the bible has to the Book of Common Prayer and the services of Choral Evensong and Holy Eucharist. We will also investigate how the daily cycle of lessons interacts with the two traditional canticles at Evensong.



Perhaps no liturgical tradition has been so widely associated with the Anglican Choral Tradition than the service of Lessons and Carols. With special guest Jessica Nelson, Organist and Choirmaster of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Jackson, Miss., we will trace the development of this form of worship from a wooden shed in 1880 to a service heard live by millions worldwide. We will also note the recent tradition of St. Peter's Carol services for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.

Sunday, January 10, 2021 — 1:30 p.m.

"In quires and places where they sing:" Anthems and Hymns

Anthems and hymns have held an increasingly prominent place in Anglican worship. We will attempt to trace the five-hundred-year development of these forms in our worship.