Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 29th January 2023


Fourth Sunday of Epiphany

Evensong with Installation of Organist and Master of the Choristers

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.

Order of Service

The choir sings the Introit

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Words: Collect for the third Sunday after Epiphany The Book of Common Prayer 1549
Music: Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625), Organist of Westminster Abbey 1623–25

All stand as the choir and clergy enter

The Precentor presents the candidate to the Dean saying

Mr Dean, I present to you Andrew Nethsingha to be installed as Organist and Master of the Choristers in this Collegiate Church.

The Dean says

The office of Organist and Master of the Choristers is both ancient and distinguished. The person appointed will be a person of integrity and faith. They will be a skilled musician, whose dedication will be expressed in enhancing our worship through music, in inspiring the choir through their leadership. They will maintain, on behalf of the Dean and Chapter good relations with musicians, and with other members of the College. The Dean and Chapter believes that you are all these things. Will you endeavour, by the help of God, to perform this work with faithfulness and diligence?

I will, by the help of God.

Will you work with the Dean and Chapter in upholding excellence in the ordering of our public worship and in all things pertaining to our common life?

I will, by the help of God.

Will you with forethought, care, and wisdom advise the Dean in his responsibility for the liturgy of this College so that all who come may catch a vision of God's holiness?

I will, by the help of God.

Will you promote peace and goodwill among your colleagues to strengthen this College and its ministry?

I will, by the help of God.

Will you care diligently for those in your charge, especially the Choristers and Lay Vicars, and exercise discipline with fairness?

I will, by the help of God.

Will you uphold the rights, liberties, and privileges of the College in accordance with its Statutes and customs?

I will, by the help of God.

The Dean takes the candidate by the hand and says

Andrew, we welcome you in the Lord's name. May God, who has given you the desire to undertake this work, strengthen your resolve, and give you grace faithfully to fulfil the great tasks that are required of you.

The Dean leads the candidate to his stall in Quire, and says

I, David Hoyle, Dean of this College, admit you, Andrew Nethsingha, to the office of Organist and Master of the Choristers, and place you in the stall assigned to you in Quire, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Cape hanc sedem in sacris ministraturus
et laudes Dei celebraturus
in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you; that in all your work begun, continued and ended in him you may give him praise and proclaim his glory. Amen.

The Dean continues

Almighty and everlasting God, you call us by your grace to offer our gifts for the good of your Church and to sustain our common life. Hear the prayers we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry each may serve you in holiness and truth; and give to your servant, Andrew, the needful gifts of grace, to the glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Bernard Rose (1916–96)

All sit. The choir sings Psalm 142

I cried unto the Lord with my voice : yea, even unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
I poured out my complaints before him : and shewed him of my trouble.
When my spirit was in heaviness thou knewest my path : in the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
I looked also upon my right hand : and saw there was no man that would know me.
I had no place to flee unto : and no man cared for my soul.
I cried unto thee, O Lord, and said : Thou art my hope, and my portion in the land of the living.
Consider my complaint : for I am brought very low.
O deliver me from my persecutors : for they are too strong for me.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks unto thy name : which thing if thou wilt grant me, then shall the righteous resort unto my company.

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: from Langdon's Collection

All sit for the first Lesson, Genesis 28: 10–end

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, 'I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.' Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!' And he was afraid, and said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.'

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 Service in C, Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)

All sit for the second Lesson, Philemon 1–16

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in your house:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith towards the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.

For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—and I, Paul, do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and to me. I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might be of service to me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent, in order that your good deed might be voluntary and not something forced. Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother—especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

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 Service in C, Charles Villiers Stanford

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 God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; 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.

Bernard Rose

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

Videte miraculum Matris Domini: concepit virgo virilis ignara consortii, stans onerata nobili onere Maria; et matrem se laetam cognoscit, quae se nescit uxorem. Haec speciosum forma prae filiis hominum castis concepit visceribus, et benedicta in aeternum Deum nobis protulit et hominem.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.

See the miracle of the Lord's Mother: a virgin has conceived, though she does not know the partnership of a man, Mary stands laden with her noble burden; and knows herself happy as a mother, though she does not know herself to be a wife. She has conceived in her chaste womb one notable in beauty beyond the sons of men, and, blessed for ever, has brought forth for us one who is both God and man.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Words: Respond for Candlemas
Music: Thomas Tallis (c 1505–85)

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

How shall I sing that majesty
   which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
   sing, sing ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
   thy throne, O God most high;
ten thousand times ten thousand sound
   thy praise; but who am I?

Thy brightness unto them appears,
   whilst I thy footsteps trace;
a sound of God comes to my ears,
   but they behold thy face.
They sing because thou art their Sun;
   Lord, send a beam on me;
for where heaven is but once begun
   there alleluias be.

Enlighten with faith's light my heart,
   inflame it with love's fire;
then shall I sing and bear a part
   with that celestial choir.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
   with all my fire and light;
yet when thou dost accept their gold,
   Lord, treasure up my mite.

How great a being, Lord, is thine,
   which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
   to sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
   a sun without a sphere;
thy time is now and evermore,
   thy place is everywhere.

Words: from A General Song of Praise to Almighty God John Mason (c 1645–94)
Tune: Coe Fen 466 CP, Ken Naylor (1931–91)  

The Sermon by The Reverend Canon Dr Chigor Chike, Vicar, Emmanuel Church with St Peter, Forest Gate

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

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does his successive journeys run;
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song,
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.

Blessings abound where'er he reigns:
the prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
the weary find eternal rest,
and all the sons of want are blest.

Let every creature rise and bring
peculiar honours to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the long Amen.

Words: Isaac Watts (1674–1748), after Psalm 72: 8–19
Tune: Truro 388i NEH Psalmodia evangelica 1789

The Blessing. All respond Amen.

All remain standing as the clergy depart

Music after the service

Fantasia in G, William Byrd (c 1540–1623)

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


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 Mark Mitchell, Acting Headmaster, Westminster Abbey Choir School, Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3NY, Tel 020 7222 6151 [email protected]
Mr Andrew Nethsingha, 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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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.


Today's Services

Thursday, 30th March 2023
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Lay Vicars

plainsong Vexilla regis prodeunt
plainsong Responses
Soriano Magnificat septimi toni
Reid Nunc dimittis tertii toni
Martin Circumdederunt me

View Order of Service