Congrats, York. You Got Me to Go to Church.
Getting a lapsed Catholic to voluntarily go to church is quite a feat. So I would like to commend the city of York on getting not one but two twenty-somethings who grew up going to Mass every week but now can’t be bothered, ever, to voluntarily attend a religious service.
The things you do for travel!
Dave and I got a great tip from our B&B owner: visiting the York Minster is prohibitively expensive, but you get in for free if you go to a service. And on Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, there is an Evensong service at 5:15 PM. This service features an outstanding repertoire from the choir.
From the moment we walked in, I was spellbound. The York Minster is the largest cathedral in northern Europe, but knowing that doesn’t even prepare you for what awaits you inside.
But as beautiful as the Minster was, it was nothing compared to the singing.
The Evensong service is a brief service featuring a choir of men and boys. Visiting choirs visit on occasion. We were ushered into a pew and then experienced one of the best choirs I have ever heard in my life.
I wasn’t able to get a video, but I found this one on YouTube. Take a listen and hear how beautifully this choir sang.
How amazing is that?
I spent my university years singing with the Fairfield University Glee Club (which, for the record, is NOTHING like the TV show Glee). Our focus was sacred music, in every language from Russian to Yoruba, but most often in Latin. For four years, I spent much of my free time on stage with my nose in a score.
So to hear sacred music in a cathedral like this, with incredible acoustics to boot, felt like coming full circle. It took my breath away.
If you find yourself in York, make time for the Evensong service. This is something that you shouldn’t miss.
Despite my glowing reviews, does York not tickle your fancy? Check out some Nile Cruises for something completely different.