Order of Service

Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 19th May 2024

18:00

Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday)

Sung Eucharist

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 St Margaret's Choristers and Consort.

Setting: Communion Service in F, Harold Darke (1888–1976)

During the offertory hymn a collection will be takenthe money from today's services will be divided equally between The Prince's Trust and the work of the Abbey. The Prince's Trust helps young people from disadvantaged communities and those facing the greatest adversity by supporting them to build the confidence and skills to live, learn, and earn.


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter, and to sing the Hymn


O thou who camest from above,
   the pure celestial fire to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
   on the mean altar of my heart.

There let it for thy glory burn
   with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return
   in humble prayer, and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
   to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
   and still stir up thy gift in me.

Ready for all thy perfect will,
   my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
   and make my sacrifice complete.

Words: Charles Wesley (1707–88)
Tune: 'Hereford' 431 NEH, Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–76)


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


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 Gloria in excelsis Deo

Gloria in excelsis Deo,

All sit

et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe; Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram; qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.

Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


All stand for the Collect

Let us pray.

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your 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 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 New Testament, Acts 2: 1–21

When the day of Pentecost had come, the apostles were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, 'Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power.' All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?' But others sneered and said, 'They are filled with new wine.'

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: 'Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
"In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
      and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
      blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
      before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."'

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


All stand for the Procession of the Gospel. The choir sings

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

and all repeat

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


The reader announces the Gospel, John 15: 26–27; 16: 4b–15

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said, 'When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

'I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, "Where are you going?" But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

'I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.'

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


The Sermon by The Reverend Mark Birch MVO, 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

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

The intercession ends

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.


The president introduces the Peace

God has made us one in Christ. He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come, has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Alleluia!

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

All may greet one another with the words Peace be with you.


All remain standing to sing the Hymn during the Preparation of the Altar. A collection will be taken. Alternatively, cash and contactless donations may be given as you leave


Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire;
thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy seven-fold gifts impart:

thy blessèd unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love;
enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight:

anoint and cheer our soilèd face
with the abundance of thy grace:
keep far our foes, give peace at home;
where thou art guide no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but one;
that through the ages all along
this may be our endless song,

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
   Amen.

Words: John Cosin (1594–1672) after 'Veni Creator Spiritus'
Tune: 'Veni Creator' (Mechlin) 138 NEH


All remain standing for the Eucharistic Prayer. The president says

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, your only Son our Lord. This day we give you thanks because in fulfilment of your promise you pour out your Spirit upon us, filling us with your gifts, leading us into all truth, and uniting peoples of many tongues in the confession of one faith. Your Spirit gives us grace to call you Father, to proclaim your gospel to all nations and to serve you as a royal priesthood. Therefore we join our voices with angels and archangels, and with all those in whom the Spirit dwells, to proclaim the glory of your name, 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.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again.

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

Being made one by the power of the Spirit, 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

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.


Alleluia! Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


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. Please refrain from dipping the wafer in the chalice. Those who do not wish to receive communion are invited to come for a blessing; please bow your head as you approach. The minister says to each communicant

The body of Christ. Amen.

The blood of Christ. Amen.


During the giving of communion, the choir sings Agnus Dei and the Motet

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.


The spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he hath anointed me
to preach the gospel to the poor:
   he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted,
to preach deliverance to the captives,
   and recovering of sight to the blind,
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord;
   to give unto them that mourn a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
   the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
   the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
   and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
   to spring forth before all the nations;
as the earth bringeth forth her bud.

Words: Isaiah 61: 1–3, 11
Music Edward Elgar (1857–1934) from 'The Apostles' Op 49


All stand to sing the Hymn


Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
   and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
   and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
   to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
   and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
   and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
   and o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
   shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till he become the place
   wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Words: 'Discendi amor santo' Bianco da Siena (c 1350–1434) translated by Richard Littledale (1833–90)
Tune: 'Down Ampney' 137 NEH, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)


Let us pray.

All remain standing. The president says the Prayer after Communion

Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal: open our lips by your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you
and also with you.

The president pronounces the Blessing

May the Spirit, who hovered over the waters when the world was created, breathe into you the life he gives. Amen.

May the Spirit, who overshadowed the Virgin when the eternal Son came among us, make you joyful in the service of the Lord. Amen.

May the Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the Day of Pentecost, bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ. Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.


Filled with the Spirit's power, go in the light and peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia!


Music after the service

Choral varié sur le Veni Creator Op 4iii, Maurice Duruflé (1902–86)


CHORISTERSHIPS AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Enquiries are welcomed at any time. 

If you have a daughter aged 10 or 11 who would like to sing with the St Margaret's Choristers, please contact the Director of Music at St Margaret's, Greg Morris (email). Further details can be found here.

If you have a son who enjoys singing and you would like further details of the world-renowned Abbey Choir and its unique choir school, please click here.

Dr Emma Margrett, Head, Westminster Abbey Choir School, Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3NY, 020 7222 6151 email

Mr Andrew Nethsingha, Organist and Master of the Choristers, The Chapter Office, 20 Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3PA, 020 7654 4854 email


If you attend worship at the Abbey regularly, you may like to add this page to your home screen for easy access to our orders of service. You can help us to improve our prototype by completing a short online survey. Thank you for your support.


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

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with all of the Abbey's activities, get bonus content and enter exclusive competitions

Sign up now

Today's Services

Thursday, 20th June 2024
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
said
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
said
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
said
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Lay Vicars

plainsong O lux beata Trinitas
plainsong Responses
Palestrina Magnificat primi toni a 8
Victoria Nunc dimittis tertii toni
Tallis A new commandment give I unto you

View Order of Service