Tonight, on the feast of St. Andrew, I attended the rededication service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Louisville. The 153-year-old parish rededicated their newly renovated worship space by celebrating a Choral Evensong. The gospel reading was from Matthew, in which you find the moving verses: “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:19-20) What a powerful message Jesus sends us, to stop what we are doing immediately and follow him. To God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory now and for ever. Amen!
The closing hymn to the Evensong was “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended,” which is one of my favorite hymns for evensong. I hope you also find beauty in its words.
The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
the darkness falls at thy behest;
to thee our morning hymns ascended,
thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank thee that thy Church, unsleeping
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping
and rests not now by day nor night.
As o’er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
our brethren ‘neath the western sky,
and hour by hour fresh lips are making
thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never,
like earth’s proud empires, pass away;
thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever,
till all thy creatures own thy sway.
–From the album King’s College Choir: England My England by Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Benjamin Bayl Choir Of King’s College.