Almost always, Choral Evensong follows the wording of the Book of Common Prayer. Although the definitive version was published in 1662, it includes much of the original 1549 version, including the translation of the psalms by Myles Coverdale, which precedes the version in the King James Bible of 1611. Many church services apart from Choral Evensong are now conducted in modern English. For a directory of churches that use the Book of Common Prayer in their services, see the website of the Prayer Book Society, which promotes its use and understanding.

If churches that do Evensong would like some ideas for simple introductory sentences to contextualise what is happening in the readings, particularly the less comprehensible Old Testament readings, then please click here for some guidance. This helpful guide to the Pillar Lectionary has been provided by Robert Grimley, former Dean of Bristol Cathedral.

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