Westminster Abbey

Thursday, 26th May 2022

17:00

Ascension Day

Sung Eucharist

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.

Setting: Missa in F K192, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91)


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter, and to sing the Hymn


Hail the day that sees him rise Alleluia!
glorious to his native skies; Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven! Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits; Alleluia!
lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
Christ hath vanquished death and sin; Alleluia!
take the King of glory in. Alleluia!

Lord, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
seeking thee beyond the skies. Alleluia!

There we shall with thee remain, Alleluia!
partners of thine endless reign; Alleluia!
there thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
find our heaven of heavens in thee. Alleluia!

Words: Hymn for Ascension-Day Charles Wesley (1707–88)
Tune: Llanfair 130i NEH, Robert Williams of Anglesey (1781–1821)


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

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


For forty days we have been celebrating with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his bursting from the tomb, and his defeat of the power of sin and death. Today we recall how he left the earth and returned to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers.


All remain standing. The president introduces the Prayers of Penitence

As we recall Christ's victory, and the hope his ascension offers us, let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, seeking the Lord's forgiveness and healing, that we might be filled with his Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. 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.


The choir sings Gloria in excelsis Deo

Gloria in excelsis Deo,

All sit

et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe; Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram; qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.

Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

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.


All stand for the Collect

Let us pray.

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens, so we in heart and mind may also ascend and with him continually dwell; 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 from the New Testament, Acts 1: 1–11

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 'This', he said, 'is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'

So when they had come together, they asked him, 'Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?' He replied, 'It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.' When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'

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


The choir sings Psalm 47

Antiphon God has gone up with a merry noise, the Lord with the sound of the trumpet, Alleluia!

Clap your hands together, all you peoples;
   O sing to God with shouts of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared;
   he is the great King over all the earth.
He subdued the peoples under us
   and the nations under our feet.
He has chosen our heritage for us,
   the pride of Jacob, whom he loves.
God has gone up with a merry noise,
   the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
O sing praises to God, sing praises;
   sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
   sing praises with all your skill.
God reigns over the nations;
   God has taken his seat upon his holy throne.
The nobles of the peoples are gathered together
   with the people of the God of Abraham.
For the powers of the earth belong to God
   and he is very highly exalted.


The Epistle, Ephesians 1: 15–end

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

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


All stand for the Procession of the Gospel. The choir sings

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

and all repeat

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

'Go and make disciples of all nations', says the Lord. 'Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


The reader announces the Gospel, Luke 24: 44–end

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

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

Jesus said to the disciples, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.' Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.'

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

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


The Sermon by The Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Canon Theologian and Almoner


All stand to say the Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


All remain standing for the Prayers of Intercession. At the end of each petition there is said

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

The intercession ends

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


The president introduces the Peace

Jesus says: 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father'. Alleluia!

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

All may greet one another with the words Peace be with you. Please be sensitive to those who might not wish to shake hands


All remain standing to sing the Hymn during the Preparation of the Altar. Bread and wine are presented and 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 and will be divided equally between the charities it supports. UK residents may also donate £5 or £10 to the work of the Abbey by texting respectively ABBEY5 or ABBEY10 to 70025


The head that once was crowned with thorns
   is crowned with glory now:
a royal diadem adorns
   the mighty victor's brow.

The highest place that heaven affords
   is his, is his by right,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
   and heaven's eternal light;

the joy of all who dwell above,
   the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love,
   and grants his name to know.

To them the cross, with all its shame,
   with all its grace, is given:
their name an everlasting name,
   their joy the joy of heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below,
   they reign with him above,
their profit and their joy to know
   the mystery of his love.

The cross he bore is life and health,
   though shame and death to him;
his people's hope, his people's wealth,
   their everlasting theme.

Words: Thomas Kelly (1769–1854) after Hebrews 2: 10
Tune: St Magnus 134 NEH, Jeremiah Clarke (c 1674–1707)


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.

It is indeed right and good, our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Jesus Christ the King of glory.

Born of a woman, he came to the rescue of our human race. Dying for us, he trampled death and conquered sin. By the glory of his resurrection he opened the way to life eternal, and by his ascension, gave us the sure hope that where he is we may also be.

Therefore the universe resounds with Easter joy and with choirs of angels we sing for ever to your praise:

The choir sings Sanctus

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth, pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.

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.


The president continues the Eucharist Prayer

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.


The president continues the Eucharist Prayer

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.


All remain standing. The president introduces the Lord's Prayer

Looking for the coming of his kingdom, 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.


All remain standing for the Breaking of the 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.


Alleluia! Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


The congregation is invited to sit as the president and other ministers begin the Giving of Communion (bread only). Those wishing to receive communion 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. Those who do not wish to receive communion are invited to come for a blessing. Please carry this booklet with you to indicate to the priest that you are asking for a blessing

The body of Christ. Amen.


During the giving of communion, the choir sings Agnus Dei and the Motet

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

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.


Alleluia! And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which said unto them 'Why stand ye gazing up to heaven? In like manner, as ye have seen him going up into heaven, so shall he come again.'

God is gone up with a merry noise,
   and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet. Alleluia!

Christ to highest heaven ascending, led captivity captive. Alleluia!

Sing ye to the Lord who ascended to the heaven of heavens, to the sunrising.

See the Conqueror mounts in triumph!
See the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds, his chariot,
To his heavenly palace gate!
Hark! the choirs of angel voices
Joyful alleluias sing,
And the portals high are lifted
To receive their heavenly King.
   Alleluia!

Words: Acts 1: 10–11, after Psalms 47: 5; 68: 17a (Ephesians 4: 8), 4a, and Christopher Wordsworth (1807–85) Canon of Westminster 1844–85
Music: Viri Galilaei Patrick Gowers (1936–2014)


Let us pray.

All stand. The president says the Prayer after Communion

God our Father, you have raised our humanity in Christ and have fed us with the bread of heaven: mercifully grant that, nourished with such spiritual blessings, we may set our hearts in the heavenly places; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you
and also with you.

The president pronounces the Blessing

God the Father, who has given to his Son the name above every name, strengthen you to proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord. Amen.

God the Son, who is our great high priest passed into the heavens, plead for you at the right hand of the Father. Amen.

God the Holy Spirit, who pours out his abundant gifts upon the Church, make you faithful servants of Christ our King. Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.


Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia!


Music after the service

March on a theme of Handel Op 15 no 2, Alexandre Guilmant (1837–1911)


You can help us to improve our prototype order of service by completing a short online survey. Thank you for your support.


Hymns covered by Christian Copyright Licensing (International) Ltd are reproduced under CCL no 1040271 and MRL no 1040288. Common Worship (Church House Publishing, 2000), material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops' Council. Scripture Readings are from the New Revised Standard Version.

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

Donations

Today's Services

Wednesday, 29th June 2022
ST PETER, APOSTLE, MARTYR, AND PATRON OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
said
8.00am Holy Communion Chapel of the Holy Name
said
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
said
5.00pm Sung Eucharist Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

MacMillan Mass of St Edward the Confessor (world première)
Palestrina Tu es Petrus
MacMillan Toccata

Preacher: The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE Dean of Westminster

View Order of Service