York Minster

1128 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2016

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There is always something very different and special about evensong.

I’d spent most of the day in the Minster, doing the guided tour, taking pictures and visiting the Undercroft exhibition. It seemed a good idea to finish the day by attending Choral Evensong in the quire.

By 3.45 there was a long queue waiting to enter the quire. It was full by the time we were all seated. I was in one of the canon’s seats along the back wall. I hadn’t realised just how uncomfortable they were for long periods of sitting. I also understood why the monks must have appreciated the misericords when having to stand for a long time.

The service began with the etherial voices of the choir singing in the south quire aisle before they entered the quire. The sound gradually got louder as they proceeded into the quire lead by a member of the clergy holding the processional cross.

It was a magical service with candles flickering above the choir stalls. The singing of the choir filled the Minster with sound which gradually echoed away when they finished. The Magnificat and Nunc Dimitus were sung in Latin. Singing was unaccompanied apart from the psalm and hymn.

The choir sang the final prayers as they left the quire with the sound gradually fading and echoing away to nothing. Then the organist burst out with the glorious JS Bach’s glorious Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The music thundered out, echoing around the Minster. It was an uplifting experience and nearly all the congregation sat listening.

It was dusk as we left the Minster. The street lights were on and the shops were all lit up. It was a magical experience.


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