Where did the Crawleys, Painswicks, Barrows and O’Briens head after Carson served Sunday tea? Perhaps to Choral Evensong, a distinctly Anglican tradition ofprayer and music that would have drawn the good people of Downton Abbey-both upstairs and downstairs-to evening worship.
On Sunday, March 6, the Cathedral of St. Paul, 134 W. 7th St., will celebrate the final episode of the massively popular British historical drama with a Downtown Abbey-themed Evensong. The 45-minute service begins at 4 p.m. and will feature music and prayer typical ofthe series’ post-Edwardian era, including the Cathedral Choirs singing evening canticles by Irish-born and Cambridge-educated composer Charles Villiers Stanford, a contemporary of the fictional Lord Grantham.
“Downton’s Anglican cathedral would have been the one place where there might have been commonality, and even a measure of equality, among the social classes,” The Very Rev. Dr. John P. Downey, Dean of the cathedral, said. “While we’re approaching the service as great fans of the television show, the equalizing power of worship is something that should be celebrated.”
All fans of Downton Abbey who attend this Evensong are asked to remember those in our own community who live neither upstairs nor downstairs and have nowhere to call home. We’ll be collecting money, men’s socks and long underwear, and toiletries including toothbrushes, disposable razors and soap, for the Emergency Overflow Shelter Program that rotates among several downtown Erie churches. We’re going to have fun emulating the very rich while remembering to help the very poor,” Downey said. “We think even Lady Violet might approve.”
The Downton Abbey Evensong will be followed by a reception of tea, cookies and scones, all accompanied by the music of the Dolanc String Quartet. Period costumes are welcome but not required. Baskets will be placed throughout the cathedral for the donation of money and goods. For additional infonnation about the service and reception, visit http://www.cathedralofstpaul.org or call the Cathedral of St. Paul office at 814-452-3779.