Order of Service
Sunday, 27th November 2022
11:15First Sunday of Advent
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: Mass for five voices, William Byrd (c 1540-1623)
Order of Service
All stand as the choir and clergy enter. The choir sings the Advent Prose
Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness.
Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: thy holy cities are a wilderness, Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation: our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee.
We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing, and we all do fade as a leaf: and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away; thou hast hid thy face from us: and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know me and believe me: I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour: and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All remain standing. The president introduces the Prayers of Penitence, after which all say
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 Kyrie eleison
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
All remain standing for the Collect
Let us pray.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him 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 Old Testament, Isaiah 2: 1–5
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord's house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.'
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
The choir sings Psalm 122
Antiphon I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem;
Jerusalem, built as a city
that is at unity in itself.
Thither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
as is decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there are set the thrones of judgement,
the thrones of the house of David.
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
'May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls
and tranquillity within your palaces.'
For my kindred and companions' sake,
I will pray that peace be with you.
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek to do you good.
The Epistle, Romans 13: 11–end
You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
All stand for the Procession of the Gospel. The choir sings
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
and all repeat
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The reader announces the Gospel, Matthew 24: 36–44
Jesus spoke to his disciples, 'But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.'
The Sermon by The Reverend Mark Birch, Precentor
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
The intercession ends
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
The president introduces the Peace
In the tender mercy of our God, the dayspring from on high shall break upon us, to give light to those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
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
Wake, O wake! with tidings thrilling
the watchmen all the air are filling,
arise, Jerusalem, arise!
Midnight strikes! no more delaying,
'The hour has come!' we hear them saying.
Where are ye all, ye virgins wise?
The Bridegroom comes in sight,
raise high your torches bright!
The wedding song
swells loud and strong:
go forth and join the festal throng.
Sion hears the watchmen shouting,
her heart leaps up with joy undoubting,
she stands and waits with eager eyes;
see her Friend from heaven descending,
adorned with truth and grace unending!
Her light burns clear, her star doth rise.
Now come, thou precious Crown,
Lord Jesu, God's own Son!
Let us prepare
to follow there,
where in thy supper we may share.
Every soul in thee rejoices;
from men and from angelic voices
be glory given to thee alone!
Now the gates of pearl receive us,
thy presence never more shall leave us,
we stand with angels round thy throne.
Earth cannot give below
the bliss thou dost bestow.
Grant us to raise,
to length of days,
the triumph-chorus of thy praise.
Words: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme Philipp Nicolai (1556–1608) translated by Francis Burkitt (1864–1935)
Tune: Wachet auf 16 NEH, Philipp Nicolai
All remain standing for the Eucharistic Prayer. The president says
It is indeed right and good to give you thanks and praise, almighty God and everlasting Father, through Jesus Christ your Son.
For when he humbled himself to come among us in human flesh, he fulfilled the plan you formed before the foundation of the world to open for us the way of salvation. Confident that your promise will be fulfilled, we now watch for the day when Christ our Lord will come again in glory.
And so we join our voices with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven to proclaim your glory for ever praising you and saying:
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 Eucharistic 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.
Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life: Lord Jesus, come in glory.
The president concludes the Eucharistic 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
Awaiting his coming in glory, 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
The congregation is invited to sit as the president and other ministers begin the distribution of Holy Communion. Those wishing to receive 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
Holy Communion is offered in both kinds (bread and wine). Wine is offered to drink only; please refrain from dipping bread in the chalice. If you prefer to receive in one kind (bread alone) then you may do so. Those who do not wish to receive communion are invited to come for a blessing. Please bow your head to indicate to the priest that you are asking for a blessing. The minister says
The body of Christ. Amen.
The blood of Christ. Amen.
During the giving of communion, the choir sings Agnus Dei and the Motet
Ecce Dominus veniet, et omnes sancti ejus cum eo, Alleluia!
et erit in die illa lux magna, Alleluia!
Ecce apparebit Dominus super nubem candidam,
et cum eo sanctorum millia, Alleluia!
et erit in die illa lux magna. Alleluia!
Behold, the Lord shall come, and all his saints with him, Alleluia!
and there shall be in that day a great light. Alleluia!
Behold, the Lord shall appear upon a white cloud,
and a multitude of his saints with him. Alleluia!
And there shall be in that day a great light. Alleluia!
Words: after Zechariah 14: 5–6; Jude 14
Music: Tomás Luis de Victoria (c 1548–1611)
All stand to sing the Hymn
Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes
the Saviour promised long!
Let every heart prepare a throne,
and every voice a song.
He comes the prisoners to release
in Satan's bondage held;
the gates of brass before him burst,
the iron fetters yield.
He comes the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure,
and with the treasures of his grace
enrich the humble poor.
Our glad hosannas, Prince of peace,
thy welcome shall proclaim,
and heaven's eternal arches ring
with thy belovèd name.
Words: Christ's Message Philip Doddridge (1702–51)
Tune: Bristol 6 NEH, from Thomas Ravenscroft's Psalmes 1621
Let us pray.
All remain standing. The president says the Prayer after Communion
O Lord our God, make us watchful and keep us faithful as we await the coming of your Son our Lord; that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in sin but active in his service and joyful in his praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The president pronounces the Blessing
May God himself, the God of peace, make you perfect and holy, and keep you safe and blameless, in spirit, soul, and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
Music after the service
Fantasia and Fugue in C minor BWV 537, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
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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 work of the Abbey and the charities it supports.Donations
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|John Bosco, priest, founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888|
|attended by the Honorary Consul for Nauru; sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey||
Bruckner Locus iste a Deo factus est
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