Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 15th May 2022

15:00

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Evensong

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

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion,
   then were we like unto them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with joy;
then said they among the heathen,
   'The Lord hath done great things for them.'
Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already,
   whereof we rejoice.

Words: Psalm 126: 1–3
Music: Adrian Batten (c 1591–1637) 


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

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.

William Smith (1603–45)


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 37

Fret not thyself because of the ungodly : neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass : and be withered even as the green herb.
Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good : dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thou in the Lord : and he shall give thee thy heart's desire.
Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him : and he shall bring it to pass.
He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light : and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him : but grieve not thyself at him whose way doth prosper, against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure : fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
Wicked doers shall be rooted out : and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone : thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth : and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just : and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
The Lord shall laugh him to scorn : for he hath seen that his day is coming.
The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow : to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as are of a right conversation.
Their sword shall go through their own heart : and their bow shall be broken.
A small thing that the righteous hath : is better than great riches of the ungodly.
For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken : and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
The Lord knoweth the days of the godly : and their inheritance shall endure for ever.
They shall not be confounded in the perilous time : and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.
As for the ungodly, they shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs : yea, even as the smoke, shall they consume away.
The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again : but the righteous is merciful, and liberal.
Such as are blessed of God shall possess the land : and they that are cursed of him shall be rooted out.
The Lord ordereth a good man's going : and maketh his way acceptable to himself.
Though he fall, he shall not be cast away : for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old : and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.
The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth : and his seed is blessed.
Flee from evil, and do the thing that is good : and dwell for evermore.
For the Lord loveth the thing that is right : he forsaketh not his that be godly, but they are preserved for ever.
The unrighteous shall be punished : as for the seed of the ungodly, it shall be rooted out.
The righteous shall inherit the land : and dwell therein for ever.
The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom : and his tongue will be talking of judgement.
The law of his God is in his heart : and his goings shall not slide.
The ungodly seeth the righteous : and seeketh occasion to slay him.
The Lord will not leave him in his hand : nor condemn him when he is judged.
Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land : when the ungodly shall perish, thou shalt see it.
I myself have seen the ungodly in great power : and flourishing like a green bay-tree.
I went by, and lo, he was gone : I sought him, but his place could no where be found.
Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right : for that shall bring a man peace at the last.
As for the transgressors, they shall perish together : and the end of the ungodly is, they shall be rooted out at the last.
But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord : who is also their strength in the time of trouble.
And the Lord shall stand by them, and save them : he shall deliver them from the ungodly, and shall save them, because they put their trust in him.

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.

Chants: George Martin (1844–1916), Thomas Attwood (1765–1838), and Thomas Rogers (1839–99)


All sit for the first Lesson, Daniel 6: 1–23

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, stationed throughout the whole kingdom, and over them three presidents, including Daniel; to these the satraps gave account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Soon Daniel distinguished himself above all the other presidents and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom. So the presidents and the satraps tried to find grounds for complaint against Daniel in connection with the kingdom. But they could find no grounds for complaint or any corruption, because he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption could be found in him. The men said, 'We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.'

So the presidents and satraps conspired and came to the king and said to him, 'O King Darius, live for ever! All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counsellors and the governors, are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an interdict, that whoever prays to anyone, divine or human, for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions. Now, O king, establish the interdict and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.' Therefore King Darius signed the document and interdict.

Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open towards Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously. The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, 'O king! Did you not sign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?' The king answered, 'The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.' Then they responded to the king, 'Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.'

When the king heard the charge, he was very much distressed. He was determined to save Daniel, and until the sun went down he made every effort to rescue him. Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, 'Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.'

Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, 'May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!' A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, 'O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?' Daniel then said to the king, 'O king, live for ever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.' Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.


All stand. The choir sings Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his hand-maiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

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.

Evening Service in D minor, Thomas Attwood Walmisley (1814–56)


All sit for the second Lesson, Mark 15: 46—16: 8

Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, 'Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.' So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


All stand. The choir sings Nunc dimittis

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
to be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

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.

Evening Service in D minor, Thomas Attwood Walmisley


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.


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 Queen.
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, and for aid against all perils

O almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; 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.

William Smith


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 Lady Queen Elizabeth, Charles Prince 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 Brotherhood of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath living and departed. Amen.


All sit. The choir sings the Anthem

Laß dich nur nichts nicht dauern mit Trauern, sei stille,
Wie Gott es fügt, so sei vergnügt mein Wille!

Was willst du heute sorgen auf Morgen? Der Eine
Steht allem für, der gibt auch dir das Deine.

Sei nur in allem Handel ohn' Wandel, steh' feste,
Was Gott beschleußt, das ist und heißt das Beste. Amen.

Do not be sorrowful or regretful, be calm, as God has ordained, so my will shall be content! What do you want to worry about from day to day? There is One who stands above all, who gives you too what is yours. Only be steadfast in all you do, stand firm, what God has decided, that is and must be the best. Amen.

Words: Paul Flemming (1609–40)
Music: Geistliches Lied Op 30, Johannes Brahms (1833–97)


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


The Lord is risen indeed!
   Now is his work performed;
now is the mighty Captive freed,
   and death's strong castle stormed.

The Lord is risen indeed!
   Then hell has lost his prey;
with him is risen the ransomed seed
   to reign in endless day.

The Lord is risen indeed!
   He lives, to die no more;
he lives, the sinner's cause to plead,
   whose curse and shame he bore.

Words: Thomas Kelly (1769–1855)
Tune: Narenza 118 NEH, in Johann Leisentrit's Catholicum hymnologium Germanicum 1584


The Sermon by The Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence. The artwork referred to in the sermon, by Frans Hals, may be viewed at the end of this order of service


All stand 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. UK residents may also donate £5 or £10 to the work of the Abbey by texting respectively ABBEY5 or ABBEY10 to 70025


Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
   to his feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
   who like me his praise should sing?
      Praise him! Praise him!
   Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for his grace and favour
   to our fathers in distress;
praise him still the same for ever,
   slow to chide, and swift to bless.
      Praise him! Praise him!
   glorious in his faithfulness.

Father-like, he tends and spares us;
   well our feeble frame he knows;
in his hands he gently bears us,
   rescues us from all our foes.
      Praise him! Praise him!
   widely as his mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore him;
   ye behold him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before him;
   dwellers all in time and space.
      Praise him! Praise him!
   Praise with us the God of grace.

Words: Henry Lyte (1793–1847), after Psalm 103
Tune: Praise, my soul 436 NEH, John Goss (1800–80)


The Blessing. All respond Amen.


All remain standing as the clergy depart


Music after the service

Choral Song and Fugue, Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–76)


Those who wish to may sit for the remainder of the organ voluntary


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