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Guest delvin146

A little birdie informs me that the dean of Rochester, no longer seems to see the need for evensong. Can anyone confirm? Let's hope it's just meaningless tittle-tattle.

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A little birdie informs me that the dean of Rochester, no longer seems to see the need for evensong. Can anyone confirm? Let's hope it's just meaningless tittle-tattle.

 

I've accompanied two different choirs singing choral evensong at Rochester Cathedral in the past 2 months (most recently on a temporary toaster ;) ), and I'm accompanying another choir there in January 2007. I haven't heard this particular rumour - surely it can't be true?

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Guest Barry Oakley
I have heard nothing, but here is the lowdown on the man:

 

http://www.rochester.anglican.org/newsdesk...s/pr040623.html

 

I believe St martin In the Bull Ring to be on the Evangelical side - perhaps Ronald Shillingford can confirm this?

 

Christ Church, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield definitely was. They had a toaster there, too! God help Rochester.

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A little birdie informs me that the dean of Rochester, no longer seems to see the need for evensong. Can anyone confirm? Let's hope it's just meaningless tittle-tattle.

 

===================

 

 

I cannot actualy recall the last-time I accompanied an Anglican Evensong, but I would suspect that it was around eight years ago when I did a lengthy term as stand-in for a sick organist & choirmaster at St.Margaret's, Ilkley (where Dr.Hope is now the parish priest).

 

Although this was an enjoyable period, it struck me then (as it does now), that this was a joyful anachronism with a small but dedicated following.

 

I have often been criticised for my stand against "pop" prelates and clergy, but essentially, I have never been a traditionalist who tries to hang-on to the relgious language and culture of previous generations.

 

Indeed, I really do wonder if 1662 or even the whole concept of "Evensong" has the slightest meaning or relevance in the world to-day; even at cathedral level.

 

If anything, I am something of a revolutionary who would happily replace ALL traditional choral-services with something else, but that certainly wouldn't entail an attack upon the music as the primary obstacle to reform. Indeed, I would regard the music as the one thing which makes the rather drab institution of Evensong bearable.

 

What I simply cannot tolerate are the "revised" services, where elegance and eloquence have been reduced to mere pastiche; under the false premise of modernism. The committee English which ensued, added nothing to our understanding, but took away the underlying beauty of the prosaic-writer's art and craft. Consequently, the conscious act of "revision" was, in essence, an unconscious act of destruction, which proved to be no more "relevant" than that which it replaced.

 

Perhaps the real danger is, that in a world which thirsts after fact, the churches respond only with articles of faith and the platitudes of hope; the primary victim often being truth.

 

Without true charity, faith and hope are meaningless, and perhaps that is the spritual vacuum which most needs to be filled, and which is not especially best represented in the "Book of Common Prayer".

 

MM

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Indeed, I really do wonder if 1662 or even the whole concept of "Evensong" has the slightest meaning or relevance in the world to-day; even at cathedral level.
Just because it may be difficult for ordinary people to understand doesn't necessarily mean that it has no meaning or relevance in today's world. You could say the same thing about God. As I've said before, there's such a thing as putting in some effort to get something out. I appreciate, of course, that this is something of a heretical suggestion...
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Just because it may be difficult for ordinary people to understand doesn't necessarily mean that it has no meaning or relevance in today's world. You could say the same thing about God. As I've said before, there's such a thing as putting in some effort to get something out. I appreciate, of course, that this is something of a heretical suggestion...

 

There is often a large difference between evensong as performed in a small parish church, compared to a decent cathedral version.

 

Evensong in a cathedral is their bread and butter, the reason for the choir's existence, etc, and is, for a member of the congregation, a chance to reflect, and almost a spectator sport. Let the music wash over you, reflect, relax, pray, etc.

 

Sung evensong in many small parish churches is often excruciating. Usually ferial responses, mag, nunc, psalm all to stilted and heavy anglican chant, etc, etc. (I'm not knocking anglican chant, I love it, when done well. Done badly, however, and I'd rather gouge my eyes out) And, of course, it nearly always starts at "Dearly beloved", and ploughs through the whole introduction, which the cathedrals leave out.

 

Said evensong is just wrong.

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Just because it may be difficult for ordinary people to understand doesn't necessarily mean that it has no meaning or relevance in today's world. You could say the same thing about God. As I've said before, there's such a thing as putting in some effort to get something out. I appreciate, of course, that this is something of a heretical suggestion...

 

===================

 

I'm not sure what "ordinary people" are like: I've yet to meet one.

 

The whole point about the BCP was the use of contemporary vernacular which WOULD have been understood when it was written, without the need to put in any effort at all.

 

Why make things complicated? That's false eloquence, surely?

 

I would suggest that the BCP is to carpentry what "Lady Chatterley's Lover" is to gardening.

 

MM

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If BCP is false eloquence, so is Shakespeare. Nah. Whatever it may or may not be, it's not that.

 

==================

 

Cranmer may have been good, but he wasn't in the same league as Shakespeare.

 

I took the trouble to cobble together a ditty a few years back, which attempted to use words with the same economy and complexity of meaning as Shakespeare; the first two verses as follows:-

 

=====

What manner of man is this we see,

of woman born, yet woman be?

Away this vile pretender must,

lest sackcloth and ashes turn to dust.

 

The triumph of an empty throne;

borne of men who poureth scorn.

With crooks held high, and cassocks wrenched,

no finer men hath wined or wenched.

===========

 

In just eight loaded lines, this was the start.......

 

Bishop Gene Robinson in America loved it!

 

;)

 

MM

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I just like the whole idea of Choral Evensong taking place every day, come what may, regardless of how many people attend. I still remember with awe the day my school choir went to Winchester to sing Choral Evensong there on a dark mid-Winter's night. This really was the case where only the proverbial one man and his dog had turned out on what was a filthy night, but it didn't seem to matter. What mattered was ensuring the daily ritual was maintained.

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I just like the whole idea of Choral Evensong taking place every day, come what may, regardless of how many people attend. I still remember with awe the day my school choir went to Winchester to sing Choral Evensong there on a dark mid-Winter's night. This really was the case where only the proverbial one man and his dog had turned out on what was a filthy night, but it didn't seem to matter. What mattered was ensuring the daily ritual was maintained.

 

===============

 

As a MUSICIAN so do I Jeremy, and much of what I am baulks at the idea of ending both tradition and living art in our cathedrals or anywhere else, where there are "quires and places where they sing".

 

Done well, "Evensong" IS beautiful and uplifting, and sometimes when I am tired and exhausted during my busiest period through the summer, it is truly lovely to just "let the music wash over me" without getting involved.

 

I Do understand all this and can appreciate it.

 

Perhaps the challenges faced are akin to those of the Reformation, where there is need for both theological and liturgical revolution, but like all revolution, it can so easily end in the disasters seen elsewhere.

 

Were it possible to find a new Cranmer and a new impetus to public expressions of faith, then there is no reason why good, even great music, cannot be heard sung in daily office.

 

Nevertheless, I do feel that the time is nigh when serious consideration should be given to a complete overhaul of all the offices; balancing the tenents of traditional faith with the enlightenment of scientific knowledge, which makes such a nonsense of much that has been held as holy writ by past generations.

 

Theology is a LIVING process, and my objection to tradition is not based on any hostility to music, but a hostility to the idea that faith is somehow "unchanging" and therefore sterile.

 

At a very practical level, many diocese are now on their knees financially due to lack of support, and unless we are very careful, economies will force the issue of reduced resources being made available even at cathedral level.

 

As is often the case, I know not the answer, but I am not afraid to face the questions. I would exhort everyone to do the same!

 

MM

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===============

 

As a MUSICIAN so do I Jeremy, and much of what I am baulks at the idea of ending both tradition and living art in our cathedrals or anywhere else, where there are "quires and places where they sing".

 

Done well, "Evensong" IS beautiful and uplifting, and sometimes when I am tired and exhausted during my busiest period through the summer, it is truly lovely to just "let the music wash over me" without getting involved.

 

I Do understand all this and can appreciate it.

 

Perhaps the challenges faced are akin to those of the Reformation, where there is need for both theological and liturgical revolution, but like all revolution, it can so easily end in the disasters seen elsewhere.

 

Were it possible to find a new Cranmer and a new impetus to public expressions of faith, then there is no reason why good, even great music, cannot be heard sung in daily office.

 

Nevertheless, I do feel that the time is nigh when serious consideration should be given to a complete overhaul of all the offices; balancing the tenents of traditional faith with the enlightenment of scientific knowledge, which makes such a nonsense of much that has been held as holy writ by past generations.

 

Theology is a LIVING process, and my objection to tradition is not based on any hostility to music, but a hostility to the idea that faith is somehow "unchanging" and therefore sterile.

 

At a very practical level, many diocese are now on their knees financially due to lack of support, and unless we are very careful, economies will force the issue of reduced resources being made available even at cathedral level.

 

As is often the case, I know not the answer, but I am not afraid to face the questions.  I would exhort everyone to do the same!

 

MM

 

Putting the music on one side for a moment, for me the BCP evening prayer service is still loaded with meaning and relevance for today. It gives a dramatic unfolding of the Christian message - starting with the Old Testment stories of Gods promises to his chosen people and the use of ancient Jewish songs. Then the incarnation and the fulfilment of these promises, and the broadening out into Christianity, and the message for the gentiles. Then all this brought together in the creed. One's theological understanding of all this, as far as I can see, is not explicit in the words or form of service.

 

The language may be old fashioned, but I cannot really see how the enlightenment or scientific knowledge has much bearing on the meaning or relevance of Cranmer's form of service. And there is plenty of scope for relevant, modern discourse in the sermon and prayers.

 

At the Church I generally attend for evensong (but not play at) the music is the worst part - Psalms and Canticles sung to chants which nobody knows, and no pointing provided. It's a mess, and I would rather it was said. But still, I would not want to be without evensong at least weekly.

 

I've noticed that some Cathedrals provide on their service sheets a description of the various aspects of and background to the evensong service - this seems excellent to me, and maybe might help people to rediscover the meaning and relevance rather than seeing it as a tired old routine?

 

Back to music, what does one do in a parish church comitted to evensong but with a dwindled choir, not able to provide sufficient lead in the singing of Anglican chant? Find alternative ways of singing psalms (if so, what)? Or say the service, apart from hymns? Or find ways of invigorating the choir, if possible.

 

On a positive note, we have recently seen numbers increase at evensong, despite the above problems. And not all elderly people either!

 

JJK

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Putting the music on one side for a moment, for me the BCP evening prayer service is still loaded with meaning and relevance for today. It gives a dramatic unfolding of the Christian message - starting with the Old Testment stories of Gods promises to his chosen people and the use of ancient Jewish songs. Then the incarnation and the fulfilment of these promises, and the broadening out into Christianity, and the message for the gentiles. Then all this brought together in the creed. One's theological understanding of all this, as far as I can see, is not explicit in the words or form of service.

 

The language may be old fashioned, but I cannot really see how the enlightenment or scientific knowledge has much bearing on the meaning or relevance of Cranmer's form of service. JJK

 

 

=======================

 

Well here, I think, is the radical point of departure in the theological quest.

 

I would regard the Bible as a compilation, and a rather contrived one at that, which may be thin on factual evidence, but which undoubtedly speaks of truth.

 

It's back to where I started in fact, because religion simply doesn't wash in most of Western Europe these days.

 

The early Christians were no lesser mortals because they didn't have a Bible, they didn't share a common language and they certainly didn't have creeds.

 

I would suggest that much of what we would regard as sacrosanct is, in reality, the thinly veiled machinations of the religious body-politic over the centuries, which bears little resemblance to the origins of the true faith.

 

The BCP and all that has followed, seems to me to be nothing more than medieval theology expressed in elegant prose, and this is where I, and many others, have a major problem.

 

So perhaps the problem I share with others is a desire for theological revolution, from which would automatically flow a complete re-casting of worship and linguistic expression. That further implies the death of tradition, but not in an iconoclastic way, hopefully.

 

So long as people are happy with the medieval mindset, then there is no reason to change anything.......but for how much longer can this situation continue, when the churches become increasingly isolated?

 

As I said previously, I don't have answers, but I am not afraid to face the questions or enter into spiritual dialogue.

 

MM

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A little birdie informs me that the dean of Rochester no longer seems to see the need for evensong. Can anyone confirm? Let's hope it's just meaningless tittle-tattle.

 

As a member of Rochester Cathedral Choir for 36 years, and Senior Lay Clerk for the last 15, perhaps I might be permitted to respond to this thread (albeit a little late in the day).

 

Over the last couple of decades the makeup of Rochester's Dean & Chapter has been an interesting and fluctuating mixture of Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic and "middle of the road". With two out of three new appointments last year (Dean, Canon Pastor and Canon Missioner) being firmly on the Evangelical wing, the balance has shifted considerably in that direction.

 

We were recently deanless for the best part of two years, the previous incumbent taking a 6-month sabbatical "to prepare for his retirement", followed by a long interregnum. One can't help wondering whether some of those who declined the post saw it as some kind of "poisoned chalice", for whatever reason.

 

However, I and most others here believe that Adrian Newman's arrival at Rochester is a Very Good Thing. We have launched a £10 million appeal campaign; Adrian has made quite clear that half of this is to be earmarked to "safeguard the music in perpetuity" [his own words]. I am not necessarily expecting that what we have now, or what we used to have, will be preserved in aspic (the Precentor is currently reviewing and re-writing the Dean & Chapter's music policy for the future), but I do believe the D&C is commited to providing music of the highest possible quality to enhance our worship and further our mission. Exciting times ahead...

 

To return to the original question, perhaps we could allow Adrian to speak for himself - this is a quote from the draft of the forward plan he is writing for Rochester Cathedral:

 

"Beyond the primary consideration of the Eucharistic community, cathedrals have embraced patterns and rhythms of daily prayer from the earliest of times. These were distinctively different from monastic traditions in that they:

a reflected the rhythm of a working person's day (Daybreak and Dusk)

b were of a public, rather than a private, nature.

The daily pattern of Matins and Evensong in cathedral life continues to reflect these twin emphasises, offering prayer that is specifically open, accessible and responsive to the concerns of public life. Sung Evensong no longer sits easily with an understanding of worship which is based largely on a participative, gathered model. For the most part, even among the ministers themselves, it is an act of passive participation.

However, the aspiration of the Daily Offices in cathedral life is to root prayer as much in a sacred place as among a holy people – a shift in emphasis which has an increasingly contemporary feel to it. Our task may not therefore be to try to invoke a more contemporary and participative expression of sung Evensong, but to reconnect it to public life."

 

Best wishes,

 

Douglas Henn-Macrae.

 

PS - The "toaster" referred to in Graham Powell's post is the latest top-of-the-range Viscount on temporary loan while Manders refurbish and update the combination action. The organ was supposed to be back in action today, but I understand work is running about 2 weeks late (Manders please correct me if I am in error here!).

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As a member of Rochester Cathedral Choir for 36 years, and Senior Lay Clerk for the last 15, perhaps I might be permitted to respond to this thread (albeit a little late in the day).
And about time too! :(

 

PS - The "toaster" referred to in Graham Powell's post is the latest top-of-the-range Viscount on temporary loan while Manders refurbish and update the combination action.
It was awful enough when I played it the other day though! Still, the singing more than made up for that.
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PS - The "toaster" referred to in Graham Powell's post is the latest top-of-the-range Viscount on temporary loan while Manders refurbish and update the combination action. The organ was supposed to be back in action today, but I understand work is running about 2 weeks late (Manders please correct me if I am in error here!).

 

I'm sure the new action will be wonderful, and worth the wait. Just like Bristol.

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There was an interesting observation by Christopher Robinson in May's Cathedral Music which, while I doubt it's particularly relevant at Rochester, makes an interesting general point:

 

"Something very interesting used to happen at St George's, Windsor, where they housed a conference centre. In my time there were two clergy courses a year, one in January and the other in July, when a group of clergy from various persuasions and backgrounds used to come for a month of seminars and lectures while living the daily life of the chapel with us. The choir would be on duty for Evensong each day and the delegates would be there. I enjoyed sharing the daily office with a new group of people. I began to get feedback when they invited me and my wife for dinner. I soon heard what they thought of it all and particularly from those who wanted to be more vocal at services. As the weeks passed they began to settle down, come to terms with not being 'in charge' and learnt to relax and participate quietly. Most were converted and this proves the point that ignorance is our most important hurdle to overcome."

 

The concept of comfort zones comes to mind...

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As a member of Rochester Cathedral Choir for 36 years, and Senior Lay Clerk for the last 15, perhaps I might be permitted to respond to this thread (albeit a little late in the day).

 

Over the last couple of decades the makeup of Rochester's Dean & Chapter has been an interesting and fluctuating mixture of Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic and "middle of the road". With two out of three new appointments last year (Dean, Canon Pastor and Canon Missioner) being firmly on the Evangelical wing, the balance has shifted considerably in that direction.

 

We were recently deanless for the best part of two years, the previous incumbent taking a 6-month sabbatical "to prepare for his retirement", followed by a long interregnum. One can't help wondering whether some of those who declined the post saw it as some kind of "poisoned chalice", for whatever reason.

 

However, I and most others here believe that Adrian Newman's arrival at Rochester is a Very Good Thing. We have launched a £10 million appeal campaign; Adrian has made quite clear that half of this is to be earmarked to "safeguard the music in perpetuity" [his own words]. I am not necessarily expecting that what we have now, or what we used to have, will be preserved in aspic (the Precentor is currently reviewing and re-writing the Dean & Chapter's music policy for the future), but I do believe the D&C is commited to providing music of the highest possible quality to enhance our worship and further our mission. Exciting times ahead...

 

To return to the original question, perhaps we could allow Adrian to speak for himself - this is a quote from the draft of the forward plan he is writing for Rochester Cathedral:

 

"Beyond the primary consideration of the Eucharistic community, cathedrals have embraced patterns and rhythms of daily prayer from the earliest of times.  These were distinctively different from monastic traditions in that they:

a      reflected the rhythm of a working person's day (Daybreak and Dusk)

b      were of a public, rather than a private, nature.

The daily pattern of Matins and Evensong in cathedral life continues to reflect these twin emphasises, offering prayer that is specifically open, accessible and responsive to the concerns of public life.  Sung Evensong no longer sits easily with an understanding of worship which is based largely on a participative, gathered model.  For the most part, even among the ministers themselves, it is an act of passive participation.

However, the aspiration of the Daily Offices in cathedral life is to root prayer as much in a sacred place as among a holy people – a shift in emphasis which has an increasingly contemporary feel to it.  Our task may not therefore be to try to invoke a more contemporary and participative expression of sung Evensong, but to reconnect it to public life."

 

Best wishes,

 

Douglas Henn-Macrae.

 

PS - The "toaster" referred to in Graham Powell's post is the latest top-of-the-range Viscount on temporary loan while Manders refurbish and update the combination action. The organ was supposed to be back in action today, but I understand work is running about 2 weeks late (Manders please correct me if I am in error here!).

 

Hi

 

Good to have the official line. Daily prayer is important - even if, as in most ctahedrals, the attendance is low, prayer is still offered on behalf of the community. As to style of worship, as a Baptist, I'm no great fan of the archaic language in BCP - and I rarely attend BCP services (said or sung) - but I find it's perfectly possible to worship Almighty God in that situation - and just as possible in the liveliest Charismatic church. Worship that is offered "in Spirit and in truth", it's acceptable to God - and I find the attitude of mind of the worshipper is significant. When I attend a church service, I go prepared to worship. If you go to be entertained, then that's all you can expect!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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As a member of Rochester Cathedral Choir for 36 years, and Senior Lay Clerk for the last 15, perhaps I might be permitted to respond to this thread (albeit a little late in the day).

 

 

To return to the original question, perhaps we could allow Adrian to speak for himself - this is a quote from the draft of the forward plan he is writing for Rochester Cathedral:

 

"Beyond the primary consideration of the Eucharistic community, cathedrals have embraced patterns and rhythms of daily prayer from the earliest of times.  These were distinctively different from monastic traditions in that they:

 

a)      reflected the rhythm of a working person's day (Daybreak and Dusk)

:(      were of a public, rather than a private, nature.

 

The daily pattern of Matins and Evensong in cathedral life continues to reflect these twin emphasises, offering prayer that is specifically open, accessible and responsive to the concerns of public life.  Sung Evensong no longer sits easily with an understanding of worship which is based largely on a participative, gathered model.  For the most part, even among the ministers themselves, it is an act of passive participation.

However, the aspiration of the Daily Offices in cathedral life is to root prayer as much in a sacred place as among a holy people – a shift in emphasis which has an increasingly contemporary feel to it.  Our task may not therefore be to try to invoke a more contemporary and participative expression of sung Evensong, but to reconnect it to public life."

 

 

==================

 

I don't wish to sound unkind, but when I worked in banking, we called this sort of speak "BBS" which stood for "Business Bull ****"

 

How on earth anyone can even suggest that "Sung Evensong no longer sits easily" with the further claim that a shift in emphasis "has an increasingly contemporary feel to it?"

 

There is nothing remotely contemporary about 1662 or any of its poor-relations; the underlying theology that of medievalism.

 

Reflect the working day, at 4pm?

 

Most people work 'til 6pm and beyond, with the supermarkets operating 24 hrs a day. When I was working in the City of London, I would work 12-14 hrs a day; leaving the office at 10pm very often.

 

The depressing reality is, that the only "contemporary" element to be found in many an Evensong, is entirely restricted to the service-settings, responses and voluntaries; a very good reason, presumably, to go on the attack and rid the churches of such elitist heresy!

 

Unfortunately, those who work in the music of cathedrals really have no effective,representative voice, and one suspects that if individuals were to make their frustrations known, they would be dispensed with.

 

I cannot help but think that the clergy are the biggest problem God has in the contemporary world.

 

Meanwhile, the contemporary world votes with its feet!

 

MM

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However, the aspiration of the Daily Offices in cathedral life is to root prayer as much in a sacred place as among a holy people – a shift in emphasis which has an increasingly contemporary feel to it.
What does Adrian mean by this? I can only assume he is saying that the perpetual recitation/singing of the daily offices in a cathedral gives life to the building. So it does, but this is precisely the medieval concept of the opus Dei, so where does the "increasingly contemporary" come in? Am I missing something obvious?
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This all smacks of the "bums on seats" approach of clergy who, lamenting the lack of them may point as such anachronisms :( as BCP Choral Evensong. It is often argued what its role is in modern worship, even if it was never a problem in the past. Forget that it can uplift the soul, audience participation is the must these days it seems, together with nice plush seats to park yourself on, while enjoying a poor sermon which is the general reason for lack of church attendance, together with the usual dishing out of bigotry and antiquated attitudes that make Byrd sound like Maxwell Davies. No, wishy washy attitudes like "shall we pray now, let us pray, please stand up, please sit down", please don't fall asleep are the current backbone of the church, and music should likewise be wishy washy supermarket styled mission praise dosh to match it. The church actually needs a good shake up and getting itself some proper authority, giving certain aspects their own purpose. Personal preferences, whether of a dean or of an individual on the street have no place, the church should be unshakable, and not one to bow to fashion, or interfere with it. Singing and music in general is very much under threat today, and our centres of musical excellence will be no more if we allow any form of alteration to any of the traditional services that are inherent to the church. If it isn't broken don't fix it. Of course it goes without saying that music is often cited as a reason people don't bother going to church now, but it all comes down to education, or lack of it. Again....a centre for excellence or a reflection of ones living room with the TV on?? I doubt, as a ex Rochester man, that Evensong will be halted, or even altered, but the writing is on the wall. Perhaps the most damage is done by stuffy choirs who prance about with noses stuck in the air and love being told how wonderful it all is. Well, it isn't, but outing any tradition such as CE is wrong, it's all down to singing it, but for the right reasons. It's also about being brought closer to God, through music rather than the outside world of hell we all seem to want to emulate, and to realise CE is not a performance, or shouldn't be.

Richard

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the church should be unshakable, and not one to bow to fashion, or interfere with it.
If a business does not move with the times and respond to its customers' needs it goes bust. The same goes for the church - it is not immune. Having said that, I agree with you about education and have said much the same several times before. People need to be taught the beauty of passive participation and decent artistic tastes (especially, but not only, in music).
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If a business does not move with the times and respond to its customers' needs it goes bust. The same goes for the church - it is not immune. Having said that, I agree with you about education and have said much the same several times before. People need to be taught the beauty of passive participation and decent artistic tastes (especially, but not only, in music).

 

=====================

 

I couldn't agree more VH, but do we have people with enough faith and courage to take a leap into the unknown, or those with just the right writing skills, who can balance beauty of prose with readily understandable meaning?

 

As for the education approach, I might agree, but for certain facts of history.

 

The roots of the great 19th century choral-tradition were very humble indeed; though encouraged by society people and the various church denominations such as the Congregationalists, the Oxford Movement and the Methodists.

 

I look back to the time I was at school, and in later life, I can only stand in awe of what was achieved by the school choir, and that came from the same tradition of musical excellence.

 

To hear musical education at its best, perhaps it is eastern europe which now leads the way. The choirs in the Czech Republic are impressive enough, and they exist elsewhere too, but in Latvia, choral-singing is almost a championship sport!

 

People are polite and still dress well, so perhaps we should all pack-up and move there?

 

MM

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SNIP> Singing and music in general is very much under threat today, and our centres of musical excellence will be no more if we allow any form of alteration to any of the traditional services that are inherent to the church. <SNIP>

Richard

 

Sorry Richard - take a look at church history & the history of church music - there has been constant change, and "traditional services" are NOT inherent in the church! If they were, every church world wide would be the same.

 

Tony

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