Nordic Contemplative Evening Prayer:

A Celebration of the Rich and Haunting Music of the Scandinavian Peoples

Evening Prayer liturgy has been the usual prayer of people since the days of the early Christian church. This liturgy, along with Morning Prayer, attunes us to the holiness of time. We participate in these daily rhythms, praising God for the sun’s rising and a new day, thanking God for all the day has brought at day’s end. We gather to celebrate the sacred mysteries of our lives in the context of the mystery of God. Nordic Contemplative Evening Prayer at Pilgrim bends the liturgical components of Evening Prayer, keeping the general structure and intent intact. 


In the same way that the Celtic contemplative service, developed at Pilgrim, seems indigenous to our neighborhood and city, so also is this Nordic service. Nordic roots, of course, run deep in the Twin Cities, this state, and the whole upper Midwest region.

Glimpses into Nordic evening worship 

Produced by Austin Adesso, with the support of the following generous donors: Diane Brehmer, Hilary Crook & Jacob Seljan, Donna Dingle & Kristo Sween, Brian Hartz, Chris & Nancy Montgomery, Pete & Jen Newburg, and Bob & Debbie Spuit.

Evening Worship at Pilgrim featured in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Evening worship at Pilgrim has been featured in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune! You can read more about it here. The article was written by journalist Shannon Prather and included comments from a few evening worshippers. We encourage you to share this article on your Facebook page and by any other means you might think of! Help extend the reach of Pilgrim welcome!

Worship Times

Moved in Infinite Love By All Things 

2019-2020 Schedule

Pre-service extended prelude, 6:30 pm

Fourth Sunday of the month, 6:51 pm

September 22 — Three Hundred Times and More

(Guest musicians: Fiddles on Fire)

October 27 — Roads Everywhere and

Signs in Our Hearts 

(no prelude)

November 24 — In the Shadow of Your Wings

(Guest musicians: Earthtones vocal ensemble)

January 26 — Stepping Fearless Through the Night

(Guest musician: James D. Hicks, organist)

February 23 — There's a Thread You Follow

(Guest musicians: Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag)

March 22 — In Those Dark Halls of Honey

(Guest musicians: ASI Cloudberries Women's Choir)

April 26 — Markings

(Guest musicians: Twin Cities Hardingfelelag)

Come early at 6:30 pm to hear an extended prelude by the Guest Artists each month. 

Artistic Leaders

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Peggy Larson is a singer and choral conductor. She lived in the Netherlands for 25 years, where she was active in jazz and world music, both teaching and performing. Here in USA she was a voice professor at the McNally-Smith College of Music in St. Paul until she retired in 2015, and she is currently active as a choral director, leading the PAUMC Sanctuary Choir and projects with Earthtones World Music Women’s Choir. Each project lasts about 3 months and has a different theme. This fall's theme is Scandinavian Songs, and we will be singing a prelude recital at the Compline Worship on November 18. If you are interested in singing with us, or booking the group, check our website (earthtoneschorus.com). Peggy also sings with Ukulele Drive, a six-member ukulele band, and she does performances with story teller Noel Labine and ukulele player Rocky Mjos.  In 2008, Peggy received her Master's Degree in Ethnomusicology. For her thesis she studied the vocal technique of herding calls from Norway (kulokk). For this thesis she traveled to Norway and interviewed farmers, singers and archivists to gather kulokk repertoire and information. For the last several years she has been giving lecture/concerts in kulokk around Minnesota and in Europe. She has recently released her book on kulokk, called Sing 'til the Cows Come Home. Check out her website: peggylarson.com if you would like to purchase a book.

Rachel Jensen

Rachel, a Twin Cities native, has been playing the classical violin since age four. In 1988 her family acquired a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle during a trip to Norway. A few years later, Rachel began playing the Hardanger fiddle and is now an active member of the Twin Cities Hardingfelelag (group). The Twin Cities Hardingfelelag performs traditional Norwegian folk music for a variety of audiences and dances. They studied under master fiddler Olav Hegge from Valdres, Norway. In the fall of 2004, Rachel won a scholarship to study the Hardanger fiddle at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss, Norway. In June 2006, the group made its first trip to Beitostølen, Norway to participate in the annual Landskappleik, a competition in dance and Hardanger fiddle. Rachel regularly freelances on both the classical violin and the Hardanger fiddle. Rachel was an adjunct Hardanger Fiddle instructor at St. Olaf College in 2011-2012, and has taught at the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America's summer workshop. She appeared, as a musician, in the Guthrie's production of Peer Gynt (2008) and was a consultant on the hardanger fiddle for the Guthrie's 2013 production of Nice Fish.

Bonnie Nash

Bonnie is a member of Pilgrim and an ELCA pastor. Raised on a farm in southeastern Minnesota, Bonnie has always felt the sacred presence of God in nature; consequently, Bonnie has a strong interest in Celtic theology. This interest led her to pilgrimages to Ireland, Iona, and England. In England, she was able to study privately with Dr. Esther de Waal, Celtic/Benedictine theologian and author, at her cottage (which stands under a Yew tree and is surrounded with the music of bleating lambs). Bonnie has also taken pilgrimages to the Sinai Desert on camel and most recently hiked the Camino de Santiago trail in Galicia, Spain. Before going to Wartburg Seminary, Bonnie was an English teacher and taught English in Sierra Leone, West Africa with the Peace Corps, Hong Kong with Lutheran global missions, and Holden Village. Bonnie has done pastoral care leadership in the parish. Her expertise in loss and grief has expanded her ministry to funeral home, nursing home and hospital settings.  She is a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and is presently serving as a Hospice chaplain in the Twin Cities.

Pastor Carol Tomer

Carol Tomer came to Pilgrim in 1999, after serving as a pastor in far-flung places including the Cascade mountains in the upper left hand corner of the U.S., Seattle, Pennsylvania, and Stockholm, Sweden.  Nordic Contemplative Evening Prayer has been offered monthly on Sunday nights at Pilgrim since September, 2004.  Growing out of her Swedish pastoral experience and her own Norwegian roots, she delights in lifting up Nordic gifts, such as the lysglobe, and the uniquely haunting melancholy of Nordic music, as well as creating new texts for the beautiful folk tunes that haven't yet found their way across the ocean into our North American worship scene.  Enriched by a Nordic sabbatical, she has researched Nordic liturgy and music, worshipped in churches in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and hiked some of the restored medieval pilgrimage route to Nidaros, the cathedral in Trondheim. (In fact, the symbol on this bulletin cover is the Pilgrim’s Way marker that is found on the various pilgrimage paths that lead to Nidaros.)  Some of her interests in liturgical outreach began while she served as pastor of Holden Village, a retreat center in those northwest mountains, known for being a creative worship “laboratory” committed to daily community worship, a community to which she delights in leading pilgrimage groups.   At Holden, she was able to bring her concern for those who live prophetically, yet with some sense of exile, at the edge of the Christian tradition, a concern that was nurtured in part during study at Harvard Divinity School.   She is also a co-creator of the Celtic contemplative communion service that is offered monthly at Pilgrim (since 2002), and she leads groups on pilgrimages to the Iona Community and Abbey in Scotland.

Paul Stever

 Paul Stever comes from Scottsdale, Arizona, where he began piano study with his grandmother at the age of eight. As a junior in high school, he received a scholarship for organ study from the Central Arizona chapter of the American Guild of Organists. These intensive studies, combined with a love of church music and choral music, led him to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he completed BM degrees in Church Music-Organ and Vocal Music Education. He studied organ at St. Olaf with Catherine Rodland and John Ferguson. Since then, Paul has received an MM in Choral Music Education from Arizona State University, a Choir Master (ChM) certificate from the American Guild of Organists, and an MM degree in Organ Performance, with a Certificate in Liturgical Studies, from Colorado State University. He has been the Music Director, Chancel Choir Director, and Organist for Pilgrim Lutheran Church since July 2012. He also enjoys cooking, yoga, and playing with his daughter Emily.

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