Note: This is an archive of the old unofficial website of 2001. These pages are for historical interest only - please visit the official website for up to date information. Some corrections have been noted and are in maroon.
        GCCGuildford Cathedral Choir
 
 
Services

ServiceThe cathedral choir's entire raison d'être is to sing services in the cathedral.

Following the established pattern of the Anglican church, the usual daily sung service in Evensong. On Sundays and on certain Holy Days, Communion and Matins are also sung in the morning.
 
All Anglican services have their roots in the old catholic liturgy. Evensong is actually a conglomeration of Compline and Vespers, the ancient evening Hours.

Service timesSunday09.45  Sung Eucharist
11.30  Matins
18.30  Evensong
 
Monday17.30  Evensong (men's voices)
 
Tuesday17.30  Evensong
 
Wednesday17.30  Evening prayer (said)
 
Thursday17.30  Evensong
 
Friday17.30  Evensong
 
Saturday16.00  Evensong
 

CommunionThis Anglican service is derived almost entirely from the ancient Roman Catholic Mass. Since most of the original elements have been preserved it is entirely possible to sing a pre-Reformation Mass setting at a Holy Communion service in England. At Guildford, as at most other cathedrals, the sung parts of the service are then performed in Latin. On the whole, cathedral establishments have no problem with this, which is fortunate as it allows some of the finest church music ever written still to be sung in England in the 20th century.
 
MatinsAnglican Matins is a conglomeration of the old Roman offices of Matins and Lauds. Matins can be sung every day but in most cathedrals it is sung only on Sundays and holy days.

Matins contains severals opportunities for musical settings, such as the Te Deum Laudamus (“We praise thee, O God”) or the Benedicite Omnia Opera (“O all ye the works of the Lord”) and the Jubilate (“O be joyful in the Lord”). Usually an anthem is performed, too.
 
EvensongThe concept of Evensong dates from the Reformation, when Henry VIII broke with Rome and declared religious independence for England. This Anglican service is a combination of the old Vespers and Compline offices. From the former comes the Magnificat, from the latter the Nunc dimittis.

Evensong is the service most often performed in British cathedrals and the one you are most likely to hear if you pay a visit towards the end of the day. Apart from various responses the choir will most likely sing the Psalms of the day (set to Anglican chant), a setting of the Magnificat & Nunc dimittis and an anthem.

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Note: This is an archive of the old unofficial website of 2001. These pages are for historical interest only - please visit the official website for up to date information. Some corrections have been noted and are in maroon.