Kerkennacht- Singing Psalms through the Night

“Where is God my maker, who giveth Psalms in the night?” (Job 35) 

“At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16 

Kerkennacht 2017 will be held on Saturday 24th June. Many churches in Utrecht (and in a lot of other places in The Netherlands) will be open to the public that weekend. In general this means that people have access to the buildings on Saturday evening roughly from 18.00 until 22.30. However, we at Holy Trinity will take the word “Kerkennacht” literally and our church will be open throughout the night until Sunday morning. 

What to expect:

As part of the Kerkennacht churches in Utrecht-oost have chosen to “perform” the Psalms in all sorts of ways. Do you realise that the Book of Psalms is the oldest hymnbook of the Church? Jesus sang Psalms in the Synagogue and so when we sing them too, we have a direct connection with our Lord.

Together with friends from the Wilhelminakerk we will join our Roman Catholic friends for a short ecumenical service in the Antoniuskapel of the St. Aloysiuskerk at 18.00. After this special service with prayers and Psalms, the doors of our three churches will be flung wide open to welcome everybody.

Covering the nightly hours our choir will sing Psalms culminating in Choral Matins on Sunday morning at 07.30. We invite choirs to come and sing anthems and motets based on Psalms. If you are in church at the right moment you may hear Gregorian chants or Jewish recitation by the Chazan of the Synagogue, or listen to poems based on Psalms as well as sing along with the hymns.

Choral Matins consist of the Venite, the Psalm of the morning, Te Deum laudamus and Jubilate. In this beautiful service we hear two lessons from Scripture and we pray and sing together.

This extraordinary Anglican service will also be held in memory of our faithful church members who passed away recently and who loved choral music so much. In particular I would like to mention the names of Co van Amerongen and Betty van der Hoofd.

Would you like to help us?

People can walk in and join us for one or more hours, or even stay from the very beginning of the evening right to the endof Choral Matins. Since they may become thirsty and/or hungry we want to be able to offer them refreshments. People who take part in this event may also wish for something to eat or drink. Are you willing to help and show our hospitality for one or two hours?

If you are not a caterer by nature then just come along and sing! And should you feel uncomfortable singing then just come and sit and listen and pray! Holy Trinity Church is a House of Prayer and many of the Psalms are written as prayers.

How can you help to keep our church open during Kerkennacht?

  • Singing along with Psalms, songs and
  • Acting as a Steward to welcome our visitors (they may become our future members!).
  • Looking after the people by brewing coffee and tea, cutting fresh sandwiches or
    offering any other refreshments to keep everyone going through the night.
  • Praying for yourself and all involved in this project and make known the Lord Jesus to English speaking people.

Here is a preliminary timetable of this nocturnal event:

18.00   An ecumenical service with brothers and sisters of theSt Aloysiuskerk and Wilhelminakerk in the Antoniuskapel (Adriaen van Ostadelaan 4)

19.00 Church doors open in three locations in Utrecht-oost

At Wilhelminakerk and St Aloysiuskerk the doors close at 22.30, but at Holy Trinity Church they stay wide open throughout the night.

07.30   Choral Matins with our (augmented) choir

08.30   Tired, but blessed “we call it a day”.

10.30   Sung Eucharist

We would love to hear from you. If you would like any further information and/or if you wish to offer your help, please see me on Sundays after the Eucharist or after Choral evensong at Holy Trinity or contact me on   065 3130086 musicutrecht@gmail.com

If you wish to be part of this very special mission please let me know before 1 May.

Henk Korff

One Comment

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds

    Many in those Churches of the British Isles which made the ‘Dark Ages’ of Northwestern Europe light by their work as missionaries are recorded as praying – including singing – the whole Psalter in the course of a day. This undertaking seems fittingly to join with them in giving voice to “Dominus illuminatio mea”!

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