The gentlemen of the Saint Luke’s Parish choir in Darien will sing a service of Choral Evensong on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 5 p.m. at Saint Luke’s Parish. Following the service there will be a tasting of hand-crafted Trappist beers from St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass. The event is free and open to the public.
For the monks of St. Joseph’s, the release of their beer marks both the culmination of years of hard work, and a new chapter in the 189-year-old story of their Trappist abbey.
“We’re just so happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to share this labor of love with the world,” says Father Isaac Keeley, director of Spencer Brewery. “We hope that by making this beer, we can both honor the centuries-old Trappist tradition, and contribute to this exciting time in American brewing history.”
Evensong, one of the great liturgical legacies of Henry VIII and most cherished of Anglican services, has its origins in the ancient monastic (and before then, Jewish), tradition of marking the day with specific times of prayer. When the Church of England severed its Roman ties, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) condensed several traditional monastic services into Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, called Matins and Evensong when sung.
The choir will perform ancient Gregorian chant of the medieval church. The service is being conducted by David Pulliam, director of music and organist at Saint Luke’s. The service, held in the historic St. Luke’s Parish church, is free of admission and open to everyone at 1864 Boston Post Road.