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After 63 years, women sing the Compline at Seattle cathedral

For 63 years, the Sunday evening Compline Service at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, has been sung by men. But this month, that changed.

The men's Compline Choir is on tour in England, so a women's choir is performing in their place for the next three services. The services are open to the public -- and not just the faithful. Rebekah Gilmore directs the Women's Compline Choir and said the service is meant to offer quiet reflection time to anyone who wants it, even if they're not religious.

"We consider the Compline Service to be a moment when anyone can come and take up space on the floor, look at the ceiling, and just breathe," Gilmore said, "pondering where they're at in their lives, and what that means in their relationship with God, whatever 'God' is for them."

Gilmore says she hopes the choir will continue to sing Compline Services from time to time after the men return from their tour. Listen to the choir, and a conversation with Gilmore, in the audio above.

The women will sing for two more Sundays at least, Aug. 18 and 25, starting at 9:30 p.m. at St. Mark's Cathedral. The service is also broadcast live on KING-FM.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.