Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 19th November 2023

10:00

Second Sunday before Advent

Matins

Welcome to Westminster Abbey. Daily prayer has been offered in this place for over a thousand years, and your participation in today's service is warmly welcomed. At Matins most of the service is sung by the choir on our behalf. We participate through our presence and our listening, that the words and the music might become a prayer within us and lift us to contemplate God's beauty and glory.

The service always includes one or more psalms. These ancient prayers, taken from the Old Testament, reflect the full range of human emotions and experiences; from the depths of anger, resentment, and abandonment to the heights of ecstatic joy and praise. They were used by Jesus, and have always been at the heart of the Church's daily prayer.

Please join in saying the words and singing the hymn 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 sung by the Lay Vicars of Westminster Abbey.

During the hymn a collection will be taken; the money from today's services will be divided equally between The Passage and the work of the Abbey. The vision of The Passage is of a society where street homelessness no longer exists, and everyone has a place to call home.


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


The choir sings the Introit

'He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, the same is he that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and I will show myself unto him.'

Words: John 14: 21
Music: Nathaniel Giles (c 1558–1634)


The officiant says a Sentence of Scripture


The officiant and choir sing the Responses

O Lord, open thou our lips
and our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.

Music: Thomas Tallis (c 1505–85)


All sit. The choir sings Venite exultemus Domino

O come, let us sing unto the Lord;
   let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation!
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
   and shew ourselves glad in him with psalms!
For the Lord is a great God,
   and a great King above all gods.
In his hands are all the corners of the earth;
   and the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it,
   and his hands prepared the dry land.

O come, let us worship and fall down,
   and kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is the Lord our God,
   and we are the people of his pasture,
   and the sheep of his hand.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.


All remain seated. The choir sings Psalm 119: 129–144

Thy testimonies are wonderful : therefore doth my soul keep them.
When thy word goeth forth : it giveth light and understanding unto the simple.
I opened my mouth, and drew in my breath : for my delight was in thy commandments.
O look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me : as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
Order my steps in thy word : and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.
O deliver me from the wrongful dealings of men : and so shall I keep thy commandments.
Shew the light of thy countenance upon thy servant : and teach me thy statutes.
Mine eyes gush out with water : because men keep not thy law.

Righteous art thou, O Lord : and true is thy judgement.
The testimonies that thou hast commanded : are exceeding righteous and true.
My zeal hath even consumed me : because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
Thy word is tried to the uttermost : and thy servant loveth it.
I am small, and of no reputation : yet do I not forget thy commandments.
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness : and thy law is the truth.
Trouble and heaviness have taken hold upon me : yet is my delight in thy commandments.
The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting : O grant me understanding, and I shall live.

All stand

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.


All sit for the first Lesson, Daniel 10: 19–end

One in human form said, 'Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!' When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, 'Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.' Then he said, 'Do you know why I have come to you? Now I must return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I am through with him, the prince of Greece will come. But I am to tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth. There is no one with me who contends against these princes except Michael, your prince.'

Here ends the first lesson.


All stand. The choir sings Te Deum laudamus

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee,
the Father, of an infinite majesty;
thine honourable, true, and only Son,
also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ;
thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy saints, in glory everlasting.

O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee,
and we worship thy name ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

Westminster Service, Humphrey Clucas (b 1941)


All sit for the second Lesson, Revelation 4

I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.' At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! And the one seated there looks like jasper and cornelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads. Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.

Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,
'Holy, holy, holy,
the Lord God the Almighty,
   who was and is and is to come.'
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,
'You are worthy, our Lord and God,
   to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
   and by your will they existed and were created.'

Here ends the second lesson.


All stand 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.


The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

All kneel or sit. The officiant and choir sing the Lesser Litany; the Lord's Prayer and the Responses

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. 

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.

O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
And grant us thy salvation.

O Lord, save The King.
And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

Endue thy ministers with righteousness.
And make thy chosen people joyful.

O Lord, save thy people.
And bless thine inheritance.

Give peace in our time, O Lord.
Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.

O God, make clean our hearts within us.
And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.


The officiant sings the Collects; of the day, for Peace, for Grace:

O Lord, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed: grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Composer: Thomas Tallis


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, Queen Camilla, 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 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, during which a collection will be taken. Alternatively, cash donations may be given as you leave via the Great West Door

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and Seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
all thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Words: Reginald Heber (1783–1826)
Tune: 'Nicaea' John Bacchus Dykes (1823–76)


All remain standing for the Blessing


Music after the service

Praeludium in F BuxWV 145, Dieterich Buxtehude (c 1637–1707)


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.

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Today's Services

Saturday, 13th April 2024
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
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8.40am Morning Prayer St Faith's Chapel
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5.00pm Evensong Quire
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Clucas Responses
Sumsion in G
Gardiner Evening Hymn
Bach Prelude and Fugue in C

View Order of Service