Thursday, 23rd June 2022
First Evensong of the Birth of St John the Baptist
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 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
Canite tuba in Sion, quia prope est dies Domini.
Ecce venit ad salvandum nos: erunt prava in directa, et aspera in vias planas: veni Domine et noli tardare.
Sound the trumpet in Zion, for the day of the Lord is near. See, he is coming to save us: the crooked will be made straight and the rough plain. Come Lord, and do not delay.
All stand as the choir and clergy enter
All remain standing as the officiant introduces a general Confession
Beloved, we are come together in the presence of Almighty God and of the whole company of heaven to offer unto him through our Lord Jesus Christ our worship and praise and thanksgiving; to make confession of our sins; to pray, as well for others as for ourselves, that we may know more truly the greatness of God's love and show forth in our lives the fruits of his grace; and to ask on behalf of all people such things as their well-being doth require. Wherefore let us kneel and keep silence, and remember God's presence with us now.
All kneel or sit to say together
O God, our Father, we have sinned against thee in thought, word, and deed; we have not loved thee with all our heart; we have not loved our neighbour as ourselves. Have mercy upon us, we beseech thee; cleanse us from our sins; and help us to overcome our faults; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The officiant gives the Absolution
May the almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon and remission of all your sins, time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. 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
Praise ye the Lord.
Composer: Thomas Tomkins (1572–1656)
All sit. The choir sings Psalm 50
Chant: George Talbot (1875–1918)
All sit for the first Lesson, Judges 13: 2–7, 24–end
There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, 'Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.' Then the woman came and told her husband, 'A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name; but he said to me, "You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death." '
The woman bore a son, and named him Samson. The boy grew, and the Lord blessed him. The spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
All stand. The choir sings Magnificat
Evening Canticles in E, Herbert Murrill (1909–52)
All sit for the second Lesson, Luke 1: 5–25
In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.' Zechariah said to the angel, 'How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.' The angel replied, 'I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.'
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 'This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.'
All stand. The choir sings Nunc dimittis
Evening Canticles in E, Herbert Murrill
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
Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour, by preaching and repentance; make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; 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 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 Members of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath living and departed. Amen.
All sit. The choir sings the Anthem
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
brings to thy father tidings of thy coming,
telling thy name, and all thy life's high calling
When Zechariah doubted what was told him,
dumbness assailed him, sealing firm the promise
till, at thy naming, lo, his voice resounded
loud in God's praises.
Oft had the prophets in the time before thee
spoken in vision of the Daystar's coming;
but when he came, 'twas thou that didst proclaim him
Saviour of all men.
Father eternal, Son, and Holy Spirit,
God everlasting, hear thy people's praises;
let saints on earth with all the saints in glory,
All remain standing as the choir and clergy depart
Those who wish to may sit for the remainder of the organ voluntary
CHORISTERSHIPS AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Enquiries are welcomed at any time. If you have a son who enjoys singing, and would like further details of the world-renowned Abbey Choir and its unique choir school, please visit www.abbeychoirschool.org
Mr Peter Roberts, Headmaster, Westminster Abbey Choir School, Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3NY, Tel 020 7222 6151 [email protected]
Mr James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers, The Chapter Office, 20 Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3PA, Tel 020 7654 4854 [email protected]
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|ST PETER, APOSTLE, MARTYR, AND PATRON OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY|
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|sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey||
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Preacher: The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE Dean of Westminster
|View Order of Service|