‘My Soul doth Magnify’. The Appropriation of the Anglican Choral Evensong in the Dutch Context – Presentation of a Research Project


  • Hanna Rijken Bibliotheek Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Martin Hoondert
  • Marcel Barnard



There’s something remarkable going on in the Netherlands. In increasingly more places there are choral evensongs following the model of the Anglican cathedrals. Dutch boys’ choirs and mixed choirs, dressed in traditional English red choir vestments with white collars, sing a complete traditional English litur-gy: English hymns, preces and responses, psalms, canticles and an anthem, and there are also English lessons and spoken prayers. The evensongs, often performed in monumental churches, attract many people.1 In some places, partici-pants have to buy an admission fee to attend the evensong. The phenomenon raises many questions. What exactly is going on here? Is this evensong a con-cert, liturgy, theatre, or all of them at the same time? What are the reasons for its popularity? Why do visitors go to the evensong? Do these visitors also go to regular church services? What does the popularity of the choral evensong mean against the background of secularization?