Whenever I hear the word "evensong" I immediately am trying to both make a pun out of it and simultaneously trying to figure out where it comes from. Even...ing Song? Or maybe an answer to the question, can we praise God with song? Even with song! Evensong! I imagine the origins of the name are rather mundane. However, evensong itself is by no means mundane.
Last night I experienced once again the St. Paul's Choir lead evensong for this Lenten time. They once again did not disappoint.
If you have never experienced evensong, it is merely evening prayer led by a choir. Some of it is participation in singing and praying, other times you simply follow along listening to the choir sing the psalm or a canticle. Beyond those mechanical explanations, evensong is actually a portal to another dimension.
Evensong, at its height, transports the participant to a world outside their experience. Time slows waaaay down. Your heart rate slows too. Your brain begins to feast on the word in a way unlike any other time. The praise of God tricks your brain into thinking you are indeed entering a heavenly realm. You truly ascend.
Perhaps that description is absurd. But spiritual practices are never meant for the rational brain. Spiritual practices are not built on facts or figures, but an encounter with something outside the physical reality. In any spiritual practice you are transported. But also, you become more human. You understand yourself better and come to a fuller awareness of God.
Next week you will hear about a specific spiritual practice we are practicing together in the East End. Until then, what are you doing to become more aware of the presence of God in your life?