Order of Service

Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 17th September 2023

18:00

Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion

Please join in saying the words and singing the hymns printed in bold type.

The church is served by a hearing loop. Users should turn their hearing aid to the setting marked T.

Photography, filming, and sound recording are not allowed in St Margaret's Church during services. Please ensure that mobile telephones and other electronic devices are silent.

The service is led by The Reverend Robert Latham, Sacrist

Following the service a collection will be taken; the money from today's services will be divided equally between The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields and the work of the Abbey. The Connection works with people who are rough sleeping to move away from, and stay off, the streets of London.


Order of Service


All stand as the clergy enter


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


The president greets the congregation, to which all respond

and also with you.


All remain standing. The president introduces the Prayers of Penitence, after which all say

Most merciful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned
in thought, word, and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy
forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be;
that we may do justly,
love mercy,
and walk humbly with you, our God.
Amen.


The president gives the Absolution

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Gloria in excelsis Deo is said

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.


Let us pray.

All remain standing. The president says the Collect

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


All sit for the Reading, Romans 14: 1–12

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,
'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
   and every tongue shall give praise to God.'
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


All stand for the Gospel, Matthew 18: 21–35

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Peter came and said to Jesus, 'Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

'For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything." And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, "Pay what you owe." Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you." But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, "You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?" And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.'

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


The Homily


All kneel or remain seated for the Prayers of Intercession, during which the following response is used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.


All stand. The president introduces the Peace

Christ is our peace. He has reconciled us to God in one body by the cross. We meet in his name and share his peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

All may greet one another with the words Peace be with you.


All sing the Offertory Hymn

Alleluia, sing to Jesus,
   his the sceptre, his the throne;
alleluia, his the triumph,
   his the victory alone:
hark, the songs of peaceful Sion
   thunder like a mighty flood;
Jesus, out of every nation,
   hath redeemed us by his blood.

Alleluia, not as orphans
   are we left in sorrow now;
alleluia, he is near us,
   faith believes, nor questions how;
though the cloud from sight received him
   when the forty days were o'er,
shall our hearts forget his promise,
   'I am with you evermore'?

Alleluia, Bread of Angels,
   thou on earth our food, our stay;
alleluia, here the sinful
   flee to thee from day to day;
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
   earth's Redeemer, plead for me,
where the songs of all the sinless
   sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia, King eternal,
   thee the Lord of lords we own;
alleluia, born of Mary,
   earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne:
thou within the veil hast entered,
   robed in flesh, our great High Priest;
thou on earth both Priest and Victim
   in the eucharistic feast.

Words: 'Redemption by the Precious Blood' William Dix (1837–98)
Tune: 'Hyfrydol' 271 NEH, Rowland Prichard (1811–87)


All remain standing for the Eucharistic Prayer. The president says

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour. By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people. Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption. As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. Amen.


The president introduces the Lord's Prayer

As we join our prayers with those of the Church Universal, so we say, each in our own language, the prayer that Jesus Christ has taught us,

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.


The president breaks the consecrated bread

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.


Agnus Dei may be said

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.


The president says the Invitation to Communion

Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Blessed are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.


The congregation is invited to sit as the president and other ministers begin the distribution of Holy Communion. Those wishing to receive come forward as directed by the Stewards. If you receive communion in your own church you are welcome to do so here. Gluten-free wafers are available. Please refrain from dipping bread in the chalice. Those who do not wish to receive communion are invited to come for a blessing; please bow your head as you approach. The minister says to each communicant

The body of Christ. Amen.

The blood of Christ. Amen.


When it is announced, all stand to sing the Hymn

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
   and in the depth be praise,
in all his words most wonderful,
   most sure in all his ways.

O loving wisdom of our God!
   when all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
   and to the rescue came.

O generous love! that he who smote
   in Man for man the foe,
the double agony in Man
   for man should undergo;

and in the garden secretly,
   and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
   to suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
   and in the depth be praise,
in all his words most wonderful,
   most sure in all his ways.

Words: John Henry Newman (1801–90) from 'The Dream of Gerontius'
Tune: 'Gerontius' 439i NEH, John Bacchus Dykes (1823–76)


The president says the Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

All remain standing

Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy; and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall, keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The following prayer may be said

Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory.
Amen.


The Lord be with you
and also with you.

The president pronounces the Blessing

The peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.


The Dismissal

Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

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View Order of Service