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O Lord Open Thou Our Lips In Italy

St. John the Baptist, Varese in Italy is one of the smaller congregations in the Diocese in Europe but it pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer with a service of Choral Evensong using the words first published in 1662.

Angela Mirani the Reader in Varese, who led the service, says “A small, competent choir was formed for the occasion from members of the congregation and friends. A few were nonplussed when faced with Anglican chant for the first time but soon got the hang of it. They then found the music William Smith and Thomas Tallis straightforward in comparison.

“It was a truly ecumenical affair as the congregation included members of the German Lutheran church (whose building the Anglicans use), local Italian Roman Catholics and also the Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese of Milan. Our nearest Anglican church neighbours,  Milan and Lugano, were also represented.

“The wonderful afternoon was rounded off in true Italian (or might one say Diocese in Europe? ) fashion with splendid food and wine!”     See picture below!!

Varese evensong party