Liturgy Explained

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (also Mattins or Matins), in the various editions of the Book of Common Prayer and other Anglican liturgical texts, was, until the last quarter of the twentieth century, the main Sunday morning service on most Sundays in all but the most high church Anglican parishes, with Holy Communion being the main Sunday morning service once or twice per month, or rarely, quarterly. Like Evensong (and in contrast to the Eucharist), it can be led by a layperson, and is recited by some devout Anglicans daily in private (clergy in many Anglican jurisdictions are required to do so).


The Eucharist, Mass or Holy Communion

The Eucharist is the rite that Christians perform in fulfillment of the instruction (reported in 1 Corinthians 11:24–25) that Jesus gave to do in his memory. It is a sacramental or memorial reenactment of what he did at his Last Supper in giving his disciples bread, saying “This is my body,” and the cup, saying “This is my blood.”


Choral Evensong/Evening Prayer

The service of Evening Prayer, according to traditional prayer books such as the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer, is similar in structure to the equivalent Morning Prayer (or Mattins), but with different canticles and with evening-specific collects. Until the 1960s Morning Prayer was the usual morning service in all but very high church parishes, with the Eucharist celebrated as the main morning service once per month or even quarterly. With the virtual disappearance of the service of Morning Prayer, Evensong takes on a special character it formerly lacked.
Source: Lichfield Cathedral