Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Saturday, 1st October 2022

15:00

Evensong

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

Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake, lay not our sins to our charge, but forgive that is past; and give us grace to amend our sinful lives, to decline from sin, and incline to virtue, that we may walk in a perfect heart, before thee now and evermore. Amen.

Words: from Henry Bull's Christian Prayers and Holy Meditations 1566
Music: attributed to Richard Farrant (c 1525–80)


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


All remain standing as the officiant introduces the 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

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.

Composer: Richard Ayleward (1626–69)


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 74

O God, wherefore art thou absent from us so long : why is thy wrath so hot against the sheep of thy pasture?
O think upon thy congregation : whom thou hast purchased, and redeemed of old.
Think upon the tribe of thine inheritance : and mount Sion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
Lift up thy feet, that thou mayest utterly destroy every enemy : which hath done evil in thy sanctuary.
Thine adversaries roar in the midst of thy congregations : and set up their banners for tokens.
He that hewed timber afore out of the thick trees : was known to bring it to an excellent work.
But now they break down all the carved work thereof : with axes and hammers.
They have set fire upon thy holy places : and have defiled the dwelling-place of thy name, even unto the ground.
Yea, they said in their hearts, Let us make havock of them altogether : thus have they burnt up all the houses of God in the land.
We see not our tokens, there is not one prophet more : no, not one is there among us, that understandeth any more.
O God, how long shall the adversary do this dishonour : how long shall the enemy blaspheme thy name, for ever?
Why withdrawest thou thy hand : why pluckest thou not thy right hand out of thy bosom to consume the enemy?
For God is my King of old : the help that is done upon earth he doeth it himself.
Thou didst divide the sea through thy power : thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
Thou smotest the heads of Leviathan in pieces : and gavest him to be meat for the people in the wilderness.
Thou broughtest out fountains and waters out of the hard rocks : thou driedst up mighty waters:
The day is thine, and the night is thine : thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth : thou hast made summer and winter.
Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy hath rebuked : and how the foolish people hath blasphemed thy name.
O deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the multitude of the enemies : and forget not the congregation of the poor for ever.
Look upon the covenant : for all the earth is full of darkness, and cruel habitations.
O let not the simple go away ashamed : but let the poor and needy give praise unto thy name.
Arise, O God, maintain thine own cause : remember how the foolish man blasphemeth thee daily.
Forget not the voice of thine enemies : the presumption of them that hate thee increaseth ever more and more.

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.

Chant: George Arnold (1832–1902)


All sit for the first Lesson, Wisdom 9: 1–12

O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy,
who have made all things by your word,
and by your wisdom have formed humankind
to have dominion over the creatures you have made,
and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,
and pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul,
give me the wisdom that sits by your throne,
and do not reject me from among your servants.
For I am your servant, the son of your servant-girl,
a man who is weak and short-lived,
with little understanding of judgement and laws;
for even one who is perfect among human beings
will be regarded as nothing without the wisdom that comes from you.
You have chosen me to be king of your people
and to be judge over your sons and daughters.
You have given command to build a temple on your holy mountain,
and an altar in the city of your habitation,
a copy of the holy tent that you prepared from the beginning.
With you is wisdom, she who knows your works
and was present when you made the world;
she understands what is pleasing in your sight
and what is right according to your commandments.
Send her forth from the holy heavens,
and from the throne of your glory send her,
that she may labour at my side,
and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.
For she knows and understands all things,
and she will guide me wisely in my actions
and guard me with her glory.
Then my works will be acceptable,
and I shall judge your people justly,
and shall be worthy of the throne of my father.

Here ends the first lesson.


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.

Westminster Service, Herbert Howells (1892–1983)


All sit for the second Lesson, Luke 2: 41–end

Every year Jesus's parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day's journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, 'Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.' He said to them, 'Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?' But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.

Here ends the second lesson.


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.

Westminster Service, Herbert Howells


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 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, and for aid against all perils

O Lord, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; 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.

Richard Ayleward


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, Camilla the Queen Consort, 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 sit. The choir sings the Anthem

Sing for the morning's joy, Cecilia, sing,
In words of youth and phrases of the Spring,
Walk the bright colonnades by fountains' spray,
And sing as sunlight fills the waking day;
Till angels, voyaging in upper air
Pause on a wing and gather the clear sound
Into celestial joy, wound and unwound,
A silver chain, or golden as your hair.

Sing for your loves of heaven and of earth,
In words of music, and each word a truth;
Marriage of heart and longings that aspire,
A bond of roses, and a ring of fire.
Your summertime grows short and fades away,
Terror must gather to a martyr's death;
But never tremble, the last indrawn breath
Remembers music as an echo may.

Through the cold aftermath of centuries
Cecilia's music dances in the skies,
Lend us a fragment of the immortal air,
That with your choiring angels we may share,
A word to light us thro' time-fettered night,
Water of life, or rose of paradise
So from the earth another song shall rise
To meet your own in heaven's long delight.

Words: A Hymn for St Cecilia Ursula Vaughan Williams (1911–2007)
Music: Herbert Howells


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


Saviour, again to thy dear name we raise
with one accord our parting hymn of praise.
Guard thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame,
that in this house have called upon thy name.

Grant us thy peace, Lord, through the coming night;
turn thou for us its darkness into light;
from harm and danger keep thy children free,
for dark and light are both alike to thee.

Grant us thy peace throughout our earthly life;
peace to thy Church from error and from strife;
peace to our land, the fruit of truth and love;
peace in each heart, thy Spirit from above:

thy peace in life, the balm of every pain;
thy peace in death, the hope to rise again;
then, when thy voice shall bid our conflict cease,
call us, O Lord, to thine eternal peace.

Words: John Ellerton (1826–93)
Tune: Ellers 250 NEH, Edward Hopkins (1818–1901)


All remain standing as the choir and clergy depart


Music after the service

Rhapsody II, Herbert Howells


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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Today's Services

Monday, 28th November 2022
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
said
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
said
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
said
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Choristers; attended by HE The High Commissioner for Barbados

plainsong Conditor alme siderum
plainsong Responses
Dyson in C minor
Warlock Adam lay ybounden

View Order of Service