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Evening Prayer; Evensong

Evensong was the medieval English name for Vespers,* one of the two evening hours of prayer. Cranmer retained the title for his reformed daily office in the 1549 Prayer Book, changing it to Evening Prayer in 1552. His service made use of elements from both Vespers and Compline,* including recitation of the psalter, and the canticles Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, which in the Prayer Book follow readings from OT and NT. A penitential introduction was added in 1552, and further prayers (known as the State Prayers) at the end in 1662, following an anthem “in quires and places where they sing.” It is now the practice on Sundays to supplement the service with additional hymns and intercessions and a sermon.