This past Sunday, I did something I’ve wanted to do for years. I took the trek into Manhattan to enjoy the evensong service at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church. It was more than worth the wait, but should have been done a long time ago.
I was fortunate enough to arrive about twenty minutes early for the 4 PM service. The chapel was relatively empty, so I found a program and selected a seat in the fourth pew from the front. Sitting so close was wonderful. The voices of the mens’
and boys’ choir can be favorably compared to some of the best choirs of this type anywhere. The choral pieces were truly majestic and went beyond my expectations. By sitting so close, the glory of the music could be experienced.
The choir sang “Concerto in A minor” by Bach, “Magnificat octavi toni” by Sebastian de Vivanco and “Nunc dimittis in B flat” by Charles Wood as well as Anglican chants of Psalm 145 and Psalm 150. Fr Spurlock gave a brief meditation from Isaiah 66: 7-14 an II Corinthians 5:11-21. The congregation sang 2 hymns during the service and the recessional was complete by 5 PM.
When I got up to leave, I was surprised to find that the entire chapel had filled up behind me. The music was so captivating and the audience was so reverent, that I had no idea anyone other than the handful of us up front, that were there when I arrived, were even present.
Overall, I’d recommend this to anyone as an uplifting way to spend your Sunday afternoon.
To get there, I drove to Secaucus to pick up the PATH. which was a mistake. Next time I’ll take the train to the PATH. As you probably know, the PATH lets you off at 33rd street. From there, I took the F (orange) line up town to Radio City (50th street and 6th Ave). That left me with a short walk to 53rd St. and 5th Ave, which is where you’ll find St. Thomas.
Have a great time if you go, and please post your comments here. You can check out upcoming services at there site: