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Service Types

The information on this page is intended to give brief details of the different kinds of church service (Eucharist, Mattins and Evensong) that happen in the Anglican Church, and give some kind of idea of what music is performed at each one. You can get more information about individual music items here.

Eucharist

This service is known under various other names such as 'Communion' and 'Mass' and several different variants such as 'Choral Eucharist', 'High Mass', and 'Family Communion', but basically these are just variants of the same thing. The Eucharist is the main Anglican service, which takes place normally on a Sunday morning (although sometimes on a weekday evening as well) and has prayers, readings from the old and new testaments of the bible and a gospel reading, and culminates in the sharing of the communion (the bread and wine) symbolising the body and blood of Christ. In this service, the order of music is:

Mattins

Also spelt Matins in some places. This service (like Evensong) was created by Thomas Cranmer from the sevenfold monastic cycle of prayer. Although less common these days, it still takes place in most British Cathedrals before or after the Eucharist on a Sunday morning. The service has prayers and readings from the old and new testaments of the bible. In this service, the order of music is:

Evensong

Evensong was created by Thomas Cranmer from the sevenfold monastic cycle of prayer - the two offices of Vespers and Compline are combined. It is sung daily by Cathedral Choirs, and is similar in the text to Mattins (above). In this service, the order of music is:


Last updated on Wednesday, 3rd December 2008
Copyright © 1999 - 2004, John Watkins - portions copyright © Richard Bloomfield.