Even the word ‘Evensong’ is evocative. In the words of the Prayer at Eventide, in the Book of Common Prayer, ‘[T]he shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed...’ At St. Barnabas, we uphold the beautiful tradition of Anglican Evensong, with the devotional Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, on the third Sunday of most months. Many who attend the prayerful, music-filled service are faithful parishioners, familiar with — and thankful for — the constancy and solemnity of the Evensong service according to the Book of Common Prayer. They know the Biblical texts and the collects well; they appreciate the choral and organ music; they look forward to a challenging, thoughtful sermon; they know the strength of communal prayer. Some who are not parishioners at St. Barnabas nevertheless come for Evensong and other special services. “Evensong has been an important part of our experience over many years,” say +Eric and Patricia Bays. “We have participated in services in large cathedrals and small country parishes, drawn by the beauty of the familiar words and the richness of the musical tradition. We enjoy visiting St. Barnabas from time to time, to hear the superb music and join the congregation in worship.” There are others present, though — some who do not often, or otherwise, come to church. St. Barnabas welcomes them, too. What are their thoughts on the Evensong service? A twenty-five-year-old Ottawa potter and visual artist, who is not a regular attendee, said that she enjoys the utter enrichment she experiences at this liturgy. "The music offered is of a higher quality than I've heard in other places of worship. There is a deep sense of dignity and meaning to the services." She also relishes the service's "solemn atmosphere". Jeannine attends Evensong at St. Barnabas at least a few times a year. She appreciates the sense of serenity, quiet and calm she experiences. Others in the pews may not have been to church for some time. Rosemary Forbes visited St. Barnabas for the first time in December to attend the yearly From Darkness to Light service. She said, “The Advent carol service was quietly lovely. I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to sit quietly in a church and listen to a first-rate choir sing so passionately. I’ve not attended Evensong in the past — but am certainly looking forward to going in the future.” Still others are absent through distance. But now that the Evensong services are recorded and posted on the parish website, anyone can listen, meditate, and savour the evening’s song and prayer. Cynthia, from Victoria, British Columbia, had this to say: “I can understand why this is such a popular service. Such a beautiful collection of music, well played, well sung. The lessons are meaningful, and I feel they are relevant to today. All in all, an exuberant giving of thanks, a celebration of God’s generosity.” by Laurel O’Connor