Order of Service
Sunday, 25th September 2022
15:00Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity
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 the Abbey during services. Please ensure that mobile telephones and other electronic devices are silent.
The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey.
Order of Service
The choir sings the Introit
Keep me as the apple of an eye;
hide me under the shadow of thy wings.
Words: Psalm 17: 8
Music: Humphrey Clucas (b 1941)
All stand as the choir and clergy enter
The officiant welcomes the congregation
All remain standing as the officiant introduces a general Confession
Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloke them before the face of almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me;
All kneel or sit
Almighty and most merciful Father; we have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.
The officiant gives the Absolution
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power and commandment to his ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins: he pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
All say together the Lord's Prayer
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.
All stand. The officiant and choir sing the Responses
Kenneth Leighton (1929–88)
All sit. The choir sings Psalm 59
Deliver me from mine enemies, O God : defend me from them that rise up against me.
O deliver me from the wicked doers : and save me from the blood-thirsty men.
For lo, they lie waiting for my soul : the mighty men are gathered against me, without any offence or fault of me, O Lord.
They run and prepare themselves without my fault : arise thou therefore to help me, and behold.
Stand up, O Lord God of hosts, thou God of Israel, to visit all the heathen : and be not merciful unto them that offend of malicious wickedness.
They go to and fro in the evening : they grin like a dog, and run about through the city.
Behold, they speak with their mouth, and swords are in their lips : for who doth hear?
But thou, O Lord, shalt have them in derision : and thou shalt laugh all the heathen to scorn.
My strength will I ascribe unto thee : for thou art the God of my refuge.
God sheweth me his goodness plenteously : and God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.
Slay them not, lest my people forget it : but scatter them abroad among the people, and put them down, O Lord, our defence.
For the sin of their mouth, and for the words of their lips, they shall be taken in their pride : and why? their preaching is of cursing and lies.
Consume them in thy wrath, consume them, that they may perish : and know that it is God that ruleth in Jacob, and unto the end of the world.
And in the evening they will return : grin like a dog, and will go about the city.
They will run here and there for meat : and grudge if they be not satisfied.
As for me, I will sing of thy power, and will praise thy mercy betimes in the morning : for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing : for thou, O God, art my refuge, and my merciful God.
Chant: Ivor Atkins (1869–1953)
All sit for the first Lesson, Nehemiah 2
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served to him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before. So the king said to me, 'Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.' Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, 'May the king live for ever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors' graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?' Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors' graves, so that I may rebuild it.' The king said to me (the queen also was sitting beside him), 'How long will you be gone, and when will you return?' So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a date. Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage until I arrive in Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, directing him to give me timber to make beams for the gates of the temple fortress, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.' And the king granted me what I asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me.
Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent officers of the army and cavalry with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.
So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. Then I got up during the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon's Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool; but there was no place for the animal I was riding to continue. So I went up by way of the valley by night and inspected the wall. Then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work.
Then I said to them, 'You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burnt. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.' I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, 'Let us start building!' So they committed themselves to the common good. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they mocked and ridiculed us, saying, 'What is this that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?' Then I replied to them, 'The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we his servants are going to start building; but you have no share or claim or historic right in Jerusalem.'
Here ends the first lesson.
All stand. The choir sings Magnificat
Evening Canticles in B minor, Hugh Blair (1864–1932)
All sit for the second Lesson, John 8: 31–38, 48–end
Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' They answered him, 'We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free"?'
Jesus answered them, 'Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.'
The Jews answered him, 'Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?' Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon; but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the judge. Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.' The Jews said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, "Whoever keeps my word will never taste death." Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, "He is our God", though you do not know him. But I know him; if I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.' Then the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.' So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Here ends the second lesson.
All stand. The choir sings Nunc dimittis
Evening Canticles in B minor, Hugh Blair
All face east to say together the Apostles' Creed
I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth: and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
Let us pray.
All kneel or sit. The officiant and choir sing the Lesser Litany, the Lord's Prayer, and the Responses
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The officiant sings the Collects; of the day, for peace, and for aid against all perils
Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy: and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Lighten our darkness we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The officiant says the Prayers; for the Royal Family, and for the Members of the Order of the Bath
Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and all the Royal Family: endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly grace; prosper them with all happiness; and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God save our Gracious Sovereign, and all the Members of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath living and departed. Amen.
All sit. The choir sings the Anthem
The heavens are telling the glory of God
the wonder of his work displays the firmament.
To day that is coming speaks it the day
the night that is gone to following night.
In all the lands resounds the word
never unperceived, ever understood.
Words: after Psalm 19: 1–4
Music: Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) The Creation
All kneel or remain seated for the Intercessions, at the end of which all say
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
All stand to sing the Hymn
Ye that know the Lord is gracious,
ye for whom a Corner-stone
stands, of God elect and precious,
laid that ye may build thereon,
see that on that sure foundation
ye a living temple raise,
towers that may tell forth salvation,
walls that may re-echo praise.
Living stones, by God appointed
each to his allotted place,
kings and priests, by God anointed,
shall ye not declare his grace?
Ye, a royal generation,
tell the tidings of your birth,
tidings of a new creation
to an old and weary earth.
Tell the praise of him who called you
out of darkness into light,
broke the fetters that enthralled you,
gave you freedom, peace, and sight:
tell the tale of sins forgiven,
strength renewed and hope restored,
till the earth, in tune with heaven,
praise and magnify the Lord.
Words: Cyril Alington (1872–1955)
Tune: Rustington 477 NEH, Hubert Parry (1848–1918)
The Sermon by The Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence
All remain standing to sing the Hymn during which a collection will be taken. The money from today's services will be divided equally between the work of the Abbey and the charities it supports. Alternatively, cash and contactless donations may be given as you leave via the Great West Door
The God of Abram praise
who reigns enthroned above,
Ancient of everlasting days,
and God of love:
to him uplift your voice,
at whose supreme command
from earth we rise and seek the joys
at his right hand.
There dwells the Lord our King,
the Lord our Righteousness,
triumphant o'er the world of sin,
the Prince of Peace:
on Sion's sacred height
his kingdom he maintains,
and glorious with his saints in light
for ever reigns.
Before the great Three-One
they all exulting stand,
and tell the wonders he has done
throughout the land:
the listening spheres attend,
and swell the growing fame,
and sing in songs which never end
the wondrous name.
The God who reigns on high
the great archangels sing,
and 'Holy, holy, holy' cry
who was, and is the same,
and evermore shall be:
eternal Father, great I AM,
we worship thee.'
The whole triumphant host
give thanks to God on high:
'Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost',
they ever cry:
hail, Abram's God and mine!
(I join the heavenly lays.)
All might and majesty are thine,
and endless praise.
Words: Thomas Olivers (1725–99), after the Hebrew Yigdal
Music: Leoni 148 NEH, traditional Hebrew melody
The Blessing. All respond Amen.
All remain standing as the clergy depart
Music after the service
Luttes (Trois danses), Jehan Alain (1911–40)
Those who wish to may sit for the remainder of the organ voluntary
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The Abbey is grateful for your support. Cash and contactless donations may be given as you leave via the Great West Door and will be divided equally between the work of the Abbey and the charities it supports.Donations
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