High on my perch in the organ loft at Salisbury Cathedral, just a few weeks ago, these words took on a special meaning. I watched in the monitor above the organ console as the 28 teenagers of the Mastersingers and their chaperones processed in for Evensong each day of the Choir School’s weeklong residency. They settled in their places, opened their music, and then they sang those ancient words that begin this service that is at the very heart of our Anglican tradition, “O Lord, open thou our lips. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.”
They sang these words in a cathedral that has stood for more than 700 years, a place where these words have been sung countless times, by countless choristers. It is impossible not to contemplate all that has happened in so many centuries, and all the ways in which the world has changed in that time. But here we are, in 2015, celebrating this beautiful liturgy, singing these ancient texts, adding the voices of our young and gifted teenagers to this extraordinary tradition of worship and music.
We are so fortunate to continue that great tradition at home here in Charlotte. As fall approaches, please mark your calendars for our first Evensong of the season at 5:00 pm on Sunday, September 13. Evensong will continue on the second and fourth Sundays of the month through April, except during December and on Easter Day. Music will be offered throughout the year by various choirs including the boys and girls Tour Choirs and Mastersingers of the Choir School, St. Peter’s Choir, and the Evensong Choir, a group that draws its singers from churches throughout the Charlotte area. I invite you to make Evensong a regular part of your worship at St. Peter’s.
–Elizabeth Lenti, Assistant Organist and Choirmaster