Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Wednesday, 17th April 2024

17:00

Evening 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.

The canticles Magnificat (Luke 1: 46–55) and Nunc dimittis (Luke 2: 29–32) reflect two responses to the Incarnation (God becoming fully human in Jesus Christ). Both speak of the fulfilment of God's promises, not just to 'Abraham and his seed', but also 'to be a light to lighten the Gentiles' (all nations). With their themes of fulfilment and completion, these texts have been given central place for many centuries in the Church's prayers for the evening and at the end of the day.

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.

Following the service a collection will be takenthe money from today's services will be divided equally between The Honeypot Children's Charity and the work of the Abbey. Honeypot works to enhance the lives of young carers aged 5–12 years by providing respite breaks and ongoing outreach support.


Order of Service


All stand as the clergy enter


The officiant says a sentence of Scripture


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 sit or 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 stand to say 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 sit to say Psalm 37

Fret not thyself because of the ungodly :
neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass :
and be withered even as the green herb.
Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good :
dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thou in the Lord :
and he shall give thee thy heart's desire.
Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him :
and he shall bring it to pass.
He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light :
and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him :
but grieve not thyself at him whose way doth prosper, against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure :
fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
Wicked doers shall be rooted out :
and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone :
thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth :
and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just :
and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
The Lord shall laugh him to scorn :
for he hath seen that his day is coming.
The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow :
to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as are of a right conversation.
Their sword shall go through their own heart :
and their bow shall be broken.
A small thing that the righteous hath :
is better than great riches of the ungodly.
For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken :
and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
The Lord knoweth the days of the godly :
and their inheritance shall endure for ever.
They shall not be confounded in the perilous time :
and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.
As for the ungodly, they shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs :
yea, even as the smoke, shall they consume away.
The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again :
but the righteous is merciful, and liberal.
Such as are blessed of God shall possess the land :
and they that are cursed of him shall be rooted out.
The Lord ordereth a good man's going :
and maketh his way acceptable to himself.
Though he fall, he shall not be cast away :
for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old :
and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.
The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth :
and his seed is blessed.
Flee from evil, and do the thing that is good :
and dwell for evermore.
For the Lord loveth the thing that is right :
he forsaketh not his that be godly, but they are preserved for ever.
The unrighteous shall be punished :
as for the seed of the ungodly, it shall be rooted out.
The righteous shall inherit the land :
and dwell therein for ever.
The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom :
and his tongue will be talking of judgement.
The law of his God is in his heart :
and his goings shall not slide.
The ungodly seeth the righteous :
and seeketh occasion to slay him.
The Lord will not leave him in his hand :
nor condemn him when he is judged.
Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land :
when the ungodly shall perish, thou shalt see it.
I myself have seen the ungodly in great power :
and flourishing like a green bay-tree.
I went by, and lo, he was gone :
I sought him, but his place could no where be found.
Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right :
for that shall bring a man peace at the last.
As for the transgressors, they shall perish together :
and the end of the ungodly is, they shall be rooted out at the last.
But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord :
who is also their strength in the time of trouble.
And the Lord shall stand by them, and save them :
he shall deliver them from the ungodly, and shall save them, because they put their trust in him.

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 3: 8–21

The man and the woman heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?' He said, 'I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.' He said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?' The man said, 'The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.' Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this that you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent tricked me, and I ate.' The Lord God said to the serpent,
'Because you have done this,
   cursed are you among all animals
and among all wild creatures;
   upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
   all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
   and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
   and you will strike his heel.'
To the woman he said,
'I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
   in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
   and he shall rule over you.'
And to the man he said,
'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
   and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
   "You shall not eat of it",
cursed is the ground because of you;
   in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
   and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
   you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
   for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
   and to dust you shall return.'

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all who live. And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.

Here ends the first lesson.


All stand to say 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.


All sit for the second Lesson, 1 Corinthians 15: 12–28

If Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' But when it says, 'All things are put in subjection', it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

Here ends the second lesson.

 

All stand to say 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.


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 for 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 aid against all perils

Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same 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.


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 remain kneeling or 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 clergy depart


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View Order of Service