Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 29th May 2022

15:00

Seventh Sunday of Easter - Sunday after Ascension Day

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 Lay Vicars.


Order of Service


The choir sings the Introit

O Rex gloriae, Domine virtutum, qui triumphator hodie super omnes caelos ascendisti, ne derelinquas nos orphanos: sed mitte promissum Patris in nos, Spiritum veritatis. Alleluia!

O King of glory, Lord of hosts, who today ascended in triumph above all heavens, do not leave us as orphans: but send to us that promised by the Father, the Spirit of truth. Alleluia!

Words: Magnificat antiphon at Ascension Day, after Ephesians 4: 10, John 14: 18, and Luke 24: 49
Music: William Byrd (c 1540–1623) Gradualia 1607 


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, and is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.

William Byrd


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 76

In Jewry is God known : his name is great in Israel.
At Salem is his tabernacle : and his dwelling in Sion.
There brake he the arrows of the bow : the shield, the sword, and the battle.
Thou art of more honour and might : than the hills of the robbers.
The proud are robbed, they have slept their sleep : and all the men whose hands were mighty have found nothing.
At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob : both the chariot and horse are fallen.
Thou, even thou art to be feared : and who may stand in thy sight when thou art angry?
Thou didst cause thy judgement to be heard from heaven : the earth trembled, and was still,
when God arose to judgement : and to help all the meek upon earth.
The fierceness of man shall turn to thy praise : and the fierceness of them shalt thou refrain.
Promise unto the Lord your God, and keep it, all ye that are round about him : bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.
He shall refrain the spirit of princes : and is wonderful among the kings of the earth.

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.

plainsong


All sit for the first Lesson, Isaiah 44: 1–8

Hear, O Jacob my servant,
   Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the Lord who made you,
   who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,
   Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
   and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
   and my blessing on your offspring.
They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
   like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, 'I am the Lord's',
   another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, 'The Lord's',
   and adopt the name of Israel.

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
   and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
   besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
   let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
   Let them tell us what is yet to be.
Do not fear, or be afraid;
   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
   You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
   There is no other rock; I know not one.


All stand. The choir sings Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit rejoiceth 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 forefather Abraham, and to his seed, for ever.

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

First Service, John Ward (c 1590–1638)


All sit for the second Lesson, Ephesians 4: 7–16

Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said,
'When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
   he gave gifts to his people.'
(When it says, 'He ascended', what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.


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.

First Service, John Ward


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 God the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; we beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. 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.

Robert Quinney (b 1976)


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

'Viri Galilaei, quid statis aspicientes in coelum? Hic Jesus, qui assumptus est a vobis in coelum, sic veniet, quemadmodum vidistis eum euntem in coelum.' Alleluia!

Ascendit Deus in jubilatione,
   et Dominus in voce tubae. Alleluia!

Dominus in coelo paravit sedem suam. Alleluia!

'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven.' God is ascended with jubilation, and the Lord with the sound of trumpet. The Lord has prepared his throne in heaven.

Words: Acts 1: 11; Psalms 47: 5; 103: 19a
Music: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c 1525–94)


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


Songs of praise the angels sang,
heaven with alleluias rang,
when creation was begun,
when God spake and it was done.

Songs of praise awoke the morn
when the Prince of Peace was born;
songs of praise arose when he
captive led captivity.

Heaven and earth must pass away,
songs of praise shall crown that day;
God will make new heavens and earth,
songs of praise shall hail their birth.

And will man alone be dumb
till that glorious kingdom come?
No, the Church delights to raise
psalms and hymns and songs of praise.

Saints below, with heart and voice,
still in songs of praise rejoice;
learning here, by faith and love,
songs of praise to sing above.

Hymns of glory, songs of praise,
Father, unto thee we raise,
Jesu, glory unto thee,
ever with the Spirit be. Amen.

Words: James Montgomery (1771–1854)
Tune: Northampton 451 NEH, Charles King (1859–1934)


The Sermon by The Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence. The artwork referred to in the sermon, by Caravaggio, 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


At the name of Jesus
   every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him
   King of glory now;
'tis the Father's pleasure
   we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning
   was the mighty Word.

At his voice creation
   sprang at once to sight,
all the angel faces,
   all the hosts of light,
thrones and dominations,
   stars upon their way,
all the heavenly orders,
   in their great array.

Humbled for a season,
   to receive a name
from the lips of sinners
   unto whom he came,
faithfully he bore it
   spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious
   when from death he passed:

bore it up triumphant
   with its human light,
through all ranks of creatures,
   to the central height,
to the throne of Godhead,
   to the Father's breast;
filled it with the glory
   of that perfect rest.

In your hearts enthrone him;
   there let him subdue
all that is not holy,
   all that is not true:
he is God the Saviour,
   he is Christ the Lord,
ever to be worshipped,
   trusted, and adored.

Words: Ascension Day Caroline Noel (1817–77)
Tune: Evelyns 338 NEH, William Monk (1823–89)


The Blessing. All respond Amen.


All remain standing as the clergy depart


Music after the service

Fantasia in A minor, William Byrd


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


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The Calling of Matthew, Caravaggio (1571–1610)

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

Saturday, 2nd July 2022
8.00am Holy Communion St Margaret's Church
said
8.40am Morning Prayer St Margaret's Church
said
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

Clucas O sing unto the Lord
Byrd Responses
Jackson in G
Leighton Let all the world in every corner sing

View Order of Service