The Grand Tour de Evensong

Before coming to Oxford, Evensong was a twice (?) termly event which seemed to be a torture method involving boring 400-odd teens out of their minds. Before joining choir I would fall deeply into elaborate hour-long daydreams. After joining choir I would spend the hour in anxious turmoil because I really had no clue what I was doing. Knowing that the ‘anthem’ comes at one specific point is literally no use to someone who does not know what an ‘anthem’ is.

If you – like a younger me – have no idea what Evensong is, allow me to enlighten you. It’s a service usually (although not exclusively) held on a Sunday evening (hence the ‘Even’… clever, huh). There’s a choir unless it isn’t a sung Evensong (although it usually is hence the ‘song’… see what they’re doing). And the congregation (fancy word for the audience I think) gets to sing some hymns too, it’s usually three although different churches follow different structures for their Evensongs. This makes it exciting. There’s also a sermon, they’re usually inspiring in some way or another. Sometimes they’re all doom and destruction, but that’s now fairly rare since churchy people generally want the congregation to actually come back to their church. If this description hasn’t helped, I’d suggest looking it up and apologise for the confusion.

Now you know what Evensong actually is; I present you with the challenge, aka the ‘Tour De Evensong’. There are approximately 38 Oxford Colleges, most of which have a Chapel and a Choir and a regular Evensong. Me and my college husband Will (probably look that up, too… we aren’t actually married) aim to get around all that we can before our degrees are up. Here I will give the rundown so that you can choose a good one if you’re ever inclined to go to an Evensong at Oxford.

The Challenge: All the Evensongs Oxford University can provide…

The Competitors: One woman: Jesus level 2/10 / One man: Jesus level 9/10.

The game: Afoot…

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