Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 3rd December 2023

10:00

First Sunday of Advent

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 the Abbey during services. Please ensure that mobile telephones and other electronic devices are silent.

During the final hymn a collection will be takenthe money from today's services will be divided equally between the Westminster Foodbank via the Trussell Trust and the work of the Abbey. The Westminster Foodbank provides nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food to residents in the Borough of Westminster experiencing financial crisis.


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

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' from Thomas Ravenscroft's 'Psalmes' 1621


All sit to say Venite exultemus Domino

O come, let us sing unto the Lord;
let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation!
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
and shew ourselves glad in him with psalms!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hands are all the corners of the earth;
and the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it,
and his hands prepared the dry land.

O come, let us worship and fall down,
and kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is the Lord our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.

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 147

O praise the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto our God :
yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful.
The Lord doth build up Jerusalem :
and gather together the outcasts of Israel.
He healeth those that are broken in heart :
and giveth medicine to heal their sickness.
He telleth the number of the stars :
and calleth them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and great is his power :
yea, and his wisdom is infinite.
The Lord setteth up the meek :
and bringeth the ungodly down to the ground.
O sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving :
sing praises upon the harp unto our God;
who covereth the heaven with clouds, and prepareth rain for the earth :
and maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains, and herb for the use of men;
who giveth fodder unto the cattle :
and feedeth the young ravens that call upon him.
He hath no pleasure in the strength of an horse :
neither delighteth he in any man's legs.
But the Lord's delight is in them that fear him :
and put their trust in his mercy.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem :
praise thy God, O Sion.
For he hath made fast the bars of thy gates :
and hath blessed thy children within thee.
He maketh peace in thy borders :
and filleth thee with the flour of wheat.
He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth :
and his word runneth very swiftly.
He giveth snow like wool :
and scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casteth forth his ice like morsels :
who is able to abide his frost?
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them :
he bloweth with his wind, and the waters flow.
He sheweth his word unto Jacob :
his statutes and ordinances unto Israel.
He hath not dealt so with any nation :
neither have the heathen knowledge of his laws.

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, 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!

Here ends the first lesson.


All stand to say Benedicite omnia opera

O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye heavens, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye sun, and moon, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye showers, and dew, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye winds of God, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye winter and summer, bless ye the Lord :praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye dews, and frosts, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye frost and cold, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye nights, and days, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye light and darkness, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
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, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye wells, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
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, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
All ye fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye beasts, and cattle, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
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, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
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, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
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.


All sit for the second Lesson, Luke 12: 35–48 

Jesus said to his disciples, 'Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

'But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.'

Peter said, 'Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?' And the Lord said, 'Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, "My master is delayed in coming", and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.'

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.
Amen.


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

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. 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.
Amen.


All stand to sing the Hymn, during which a collection will be taken. Alternatively, cash and contactless donations may be given as you leave via the Great West Door

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
   born to set thy people free,
from our fears and sins release us;
   let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
   hope of all the earth thou art,
dear desire of every nation,
   joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
   born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
   now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit,
   rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit,
   raise us to thy glorious throne.

Words: Charles Wesley (1707–88)
Tune: 'Halton Holgate' after William Boyce (1711–79) in Samuel Sebastian Wesley's 'European Psalmist' 1872


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


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

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.

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Today's Services

Sunday, 25th February 2024
Second Sunday of Lent
8.00am Holy Communion Nave
The Book of Common Prayer; said
10.00am Matins Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

Byrd Responses
Dyson Benedicite in F
Stanford Benedictus (Sonata Britannica)

View Order of Service
11.15am Sung Eucharist Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

Palestrina Missa Papae Marcelli
Byrd Miserere mei Deus
Bach Fantasia and Fugue in C minor

Preacher: The Reverend Mark Birch MVO Precentor

View Order of Service
3.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

Farrant Call to remembrance, O Lord
Byrd Responses
Byrd Third Service
Byrd Memento homo quod cinis es
Alain Variations sur un thème de Clément Jannequin

Preacher: The Right Reverend Anthony Ball Canon in Residence

View Order of Service
5.00pm Organ Recital Nave
given by Travis Baker

Cook Fanfare
Buxtehude Passacaglia in D minor BuxWV 161
Dupré Cortège et Litanie Op 19 no 2
Vierne Final (Symphonie III in F sharp minor Op 28)

6.00pm Holy Communion St Margaret's Church
said with hymns

Preacher: The Reverend Mark Birch MVO Precentor

View Order of Service