Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Tuesday, 4th October 2022

17:00

Evensong

Please join in saying the words 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

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.

Words: John 14: 15–17a
Music: Thomas Tallis (c 1505–85)


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

Praise ye the Lord.

Composer: William Byrd (c 1540–1623)


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 80

Hear, O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep : shew thyself also, thou that sittest upon the cherubims.
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses : stir up thy strength, and come, and help us.
Turn us again, O God : shew the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
O Lord God of hosts : how long wilt thou be angry with thy people that prayeth?
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears : and givest them plenteousness of tears to drink.
Thou hast made us a very strife unto our neighbours : and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Turn us again, thou God of hosts : shew the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt : thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou madest room for it : and when it had taken root it filled the land.
The hills were covered with the shadow of it : and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedar-trees.
She stretched out her branches unto the sea : and her boughs unto the river.
Why hast thou then broken down her hedge : that all they that go by pluck off her grapes?
The wild boar out of the wood doth root it up : and the wild beasts of the field devour it.
Turn thee again, thou God of hosts, look down from heaven : behold, and visit this vine;
and the place of the vineyard that thy right hand hath planted : and the branch that thou madest so strong for thyself.
It is burnt with fire, and cut down : and they shall perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand : and upon the son of man, whom thou madest so strong for thine own self.
And so will not we go back from thee : O let us live, and we shall call upon thy name.
Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts : shew the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.

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: Joseph Barnby (1838–96)


All sit for the first Lesson, Ruth 4: 7–17

This was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, one party took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, 'Acquire it for yourself', he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, 'Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.' Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, 'We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.'

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, 'Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.' Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, 'A son has been born to Naomi.' They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

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.

Evening Canticles in G, Herbert Sumsion (1899–1995)


All sit for the second Lesson, Luke 2: 25–38

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
'Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
   according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.'

And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, 'This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.'

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

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.

Evening Canticles in G, Herbert Sumsion


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.

William Byrd


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

O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye angels of the Lord,
O ye heavens, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye waters that be above the firmament,
O all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye sun and moon,
O ye stars of heaven,
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye showers and dew,
O ye winds of God,
O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye winter and summer,
O ye dews and frosts,
O ye frost and cold,
O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye nights and days, praise him;
O ye light and darkness,
O ye lightnings and clouds, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O let the earth bless the Lord :
   yea, let it praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye mountains and hills,
O all ye green things upon the earth,
O ye wells,
O ye seas and floods, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye whales and all that move in the waters,
O all ye fowls of the air,
O all ye beasts and cattle,
O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O let Israel bless the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye priests of the Lord,
O ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye spirits and souls of the righteous,
O ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him for ever.
O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless ye the Lord :
   praise him and magnify him 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.

Words: The Song of the Three Holy Children 35–66
Music: Benedicite in G Francis Jackson (1917–2022)


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 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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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