Evensong is perhaps one of the most beautiful of all services that comes out of the Anglican tradition.  It is basically Evening Prayer, except that most of it, with the exception of a few prayers and scripture readings, is sung by a choir and cantor.  The office of Evensong traces its history of origin all the way back to Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I under whose hand he was burned at the stake in Oxford during her attempt to return England to Catholicism.  Cranmer was trying to figure out a way to reduce the number of services within a day as there were a series of services known as The Hours which required one to attend many services throughout the day.  He ended up combining two of the final services of the day which were Vespers, sung at sunset, and Compline, so called because it completed the day, into one service.  We find that the two major canticles of Evensong, the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, come from Vespers and Compline respectfully.  The form of the service with the psalms, scripture, collects and prayers all originate from these two services and haven’t changed too terribly much since first appearing in the 1549 Prayer Book.