Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 28th May 2023


Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday)

Morning Prayer

Welcome to Westminster Abbey. Daily prayer has been offered in this place for over a thousand years, and your participation in today's service is warmly welcomed.

The service always includes one or more psalms. These ancient prayers, taken from the Old Testament, reflect the full range of human emotions and experiences; from the depths of anger, resentment, and abandonment to the heights of ecstatic joy and praise. They were used by Jesus, and have always been at the heart of the Church's daily prayer.

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 St Margaret's Church during services. Please ensure that mobile telephones and other electronic devices are silent.

During the final hymn a collection will be taken. The money from today's services will be divided equally between The Prince's Countryside Fund and the work of the Abbey. The Prince's Countryside Fund is inspired by its vision, of thriving family farms and rural communities, encouraged and recognised for their role in creating a sustainable future for the countryside and our whole nation.

Order of Service

All stand as the clergy enter

The officiant says a Sentence of Scripture

All remain standing for 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.

All sing the Hymn

Holy Spirit, come, confirm us
   in the truth that Christ makes known;
we have faith and understanding
   through your promised light alone.

Holy Spirit, come, console us,
   come as Advocate to plead,
loving Spirit from the Father,
   grant in Christ the help we need.

Holy Spirit, come, renew us,
   come yourself to make us live,
holy through your loving presence,
   holy through the gifts you give.

Holy Spirit, come, possess us,
   you the love of Three in One,
Holy Spirit of the Father,
   Holy Spirit of the Son.

Words: Brian Foley (1919–2000)
Tune: All for Jesus 140 NEH, John Stainer (1840–1901) The Crucifixion

All sit to say the Easter Anthems

Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast,
not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once;
but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin
but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ is risen from the dead,
and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death,
by man came also the resurrection of the dead;
for as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

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.

All remain seated to say Psalm 145

I will magnify thee, O God, my King :
and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Every day will I give thanks unto thee :
and praise thy name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and marvellous worthy to be praised :
there is no end of his greatness.
One generation shall praise thy works unto another :
and declare thy power.
As for me, I will be talking of thy worship :
thy glory, thy praise, and wondrous works;
so that men shall speak of the might of thy marvellous acts :
and I will also tell of thy greatness.
The memorial of thine abundant kindness shall be shewed :
and men shall sing of thy righteousness.
The Lord is gracious, and merciful :
long-suffering, and of great goodness.
The Lord is loving unto every man :
and his mercy is over all his works.
All thy works praise thee, O Lord :
and thy saints give thanks unto thee.
They shew the glory of thy kingdom :
and talk of thy power;
that thy power, thy glory, and mightiness of thy kingdom :
might be known unto men.
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom :
and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages.
The Lord upholdeth all such as fall :
and lifteth up all those that are down.
The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord :
and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Thou openest thine hand :
and fillest all things living with plenteousness.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways :
and holy in all his works.
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him :
yea, all such as call upon him faithfully.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him :
he also will hear their cry, and will help them.
The Lord preserveth all them that love him :
but scattereth abroad all the ungodly.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord :
and let all flesh give thanks unto his holy name for ever and 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.

All remain seated for the first Lesson, Genesis 11: 1–9

The whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.' The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, 'Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another's speech.' So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Here ends the first lesson.

All stand to say Te Deum laudamus

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee,
the Father, of an infinite majesty;
thine honourable, true, and only Son,
also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ;
thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy saints, in glory everlasting.

O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee,
and we worship thy name ever world without end.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

All sit for the second Lesson, Acts 10: 34–48

Peter began to speak: 'I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.'

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 'Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?' So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

Here ends the second lesson.

All stand to say Benedictus

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he hath visited, and redeemed his people;
and hath raised up a mighty salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,
which have been since the world began,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hands of all that hate us;
to perform the mercy promised to our forefathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,
to perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham,
that he would give us,
that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him
all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest;
for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation unto his people
for the remission of their sins.
Through the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us,
to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

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.

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

All kneel or sit to say 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.

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 says the Collects; of the day, for Peace, and for Grace

God, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 Lord King Charles, Queen Camilla, 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 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.

All stand to sing the Hymn, during which a collection will be taken. Alternatively, cash donations may be given as you leave

Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost,
taught by thee, we covet most
of thy gifts at Pentecost,
   holy, heavenly love.

Love is kind, and suffers long,
love is meek, and thinks no wrong,
love than death itself more strong;
   therefore give us love.

Prophecy will fade away,
melting in the light of day;
love will ever with us stay;
   therefore give us love.

Faith will vanish into sight;
hope be emptied in delight;
love in heaven will shine more bright;
   therefore give us love.

Faith and hope and love we see
joining hand in hand agree;
but the greatest of the three,
   and the best, is love.

From the overshadowing
of thy gold and silver wing
shed on us, who to thee sing,
   holy, heavenly love.

Words: Christopher Wordsworth (1807–85) Canon of Westminster 1844–69
Tune: Charity 367ii NEH, John Stainer

All remain standing for the Blessing, to which all respond Amen.

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



Celebrate the life of St Edward the Confessor at the Abbey from 13th - 17th October.

Edwardtide services

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

Monday, 2nd October 2023
7.30am Morning Prayer St Faith's Chapel
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Lay Vicars

Muhly Oculi omnium
plainsong Responses
Guerrero Magnificat secundi toni
plainsong Nunc dimittis tertii toni
Martin Notre Père

View Order of Service