Order of Service

Westminster Abbey

Saturday, 29th June 2024

17:00

ST PETER, APOSTLE, MARTYR, AND PATRON OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Evensong

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. At choral Evensong most of the service is sung by the choir on our behalf. We participate through our presence and our listening, that the words and the music might become a prayer within us and lift us to contemplate God's beauty and glory.

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 and singing the hymn 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 Lay Vicars of Westminster Abbey.

Following the service, a collection will be takenthe money from today's services will be divided equally between Christian Aid and the work of the Abbey. Christian Aid exists to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


The choir sings the Introit

O lux beata Trinitas,
Et principalis Unitas,
Iam sol recedit igneus,
Infunde lumen cordibus.

Te mane laudum carmine,
Te deprecemur vesperi,
Te nostra supplex gloria
Per cuncta laudet saecula.

Christum rogamus et Patrem,
Christi Patrisque Spiritum;
Unum potens per omnia,
Fove precantes, Trinitas.
   Amen.

O Trinity, O blessed light, and primal Unity: now as the fiery sun recedes, pour light into our hearts.

In the morning we praise you with song, in the evening to you we pray. Let our humble worship praise you throughout the ages.

We beseech Christ and the Father and the Spirit who is of both: O one almighty Trinity, guard those who pray to you. Amen.

Words: anonymous, 4th century
Music: plainsong


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 say together the Lord's Prayer

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 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, and is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.

Music: William Byrd (c 1540–1623)


All sit. The choir sings Psalms 124 and 138

If the Lord himself had not been on our side, now may Israel say : if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us;
they had swallowed us up quick : when they were so wrathfully displeased at us.
Yea, the waters had drowned us : and the stream had gone over our soul.
The deep waters of the proud : had gone even over our soul.
But praised be the Lord : who hath not given us over for a prey unto their teeth.
Our soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler : the snare is broken, and we are delivered.
Our help standeth in the name of the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.

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.

I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, with my whole heart : even before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name, because of thy loving-kindness and truth : for thou hast magnified thy name, and thy Word, above all things.
When I called upon thee, thou heardest me : and enduedst my soul with much strength.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord : for they have heard the words of thy mouth.
Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord : that great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly : as for the proud, he beholdeth them afar off.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, yet shalt thou refresh me : thou shalt stretch forth thy hand upon the furiousness of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
The Lord shall make good his loving-kindness toward me : yea, thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever; despise not then the works of thine own hands.

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.

Chants: plainsong


All sit for the first Lesson, Ezekiel 34: 11–16

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

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.

Westminster Service, Humphrey Clucas (b 1941)


All sit for the second Lesson, John 21: 15–22

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' A second time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Tend my sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, 'Do you love me?' And he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.' (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, 'Follow me.'

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, 'Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?' When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!'

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.

Westminster Service, Humphrey Clucas


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 almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock; make, we beseech thee, all bishops and pastors diligently to preach thy holy word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; 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.

Music: Robert Quinney (b 1976)


All sit. The choir sings the Anthem

Laudibus in sanctis Dominum celebrate supremum;
   firmamenta sonent inclyta facta Dei!
Inclyta facta Dei cantate sacraque potentis;
   voce potestatem saepe sonate manus!

Magnificum Domini cantet tuba martia nomen;
   pieria Domino concelebrate lyra!
Laude Dei resonent resonantia tympana summi;
   alta sacri resonent organa laude Dei!
Hunc arguta canant tenui psalteria corda;
   hunc agili laudet laeta chorea pede!
Concava divinas effundant cymbala laudes:
   cymbala dulcesona laude repleta Dei!
Omne quod aetheriis in mundo vescitur auris!
   Halleluia canat tempus in omne Deo!

Praise the Lord Most High with praises among his saints; let the firmament tell of the wonderful works of God! Sing of the wonderful works of God, and of the holy things of the Almighty; tell oft with the voice the power of his hand!

Let the war-trumpet sing of the wonderful name of the Lord; praise the Lord with songs and upon the lyre! Let all things that can, resound with the praise of God; take up the drum; let lofty organs resound with the holy praise of God! Let the sharp-toned strings of the psaltery sing his praise; let the festal procession praise him! Let the resounding cymbals pour out divine praises; let the sweet-toned cymbals be filled with the praise of God! Let everything that draws breath on earth! Sing Alleluia at all times to God!

Words: after Psalm 150
Music: William Byrd, in 'Sacrarum Cantionum' 1591


All kneel or remain seated for the Intercessions


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

Thy hand, O God, has guided
   thy flock, from age to age;
the wondrous tale is written,
   full clear, on every page;
our fathers owned thy goodness,
   and we their deeds record;
and both of this bear witness:
   one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Thy heralds brought glad tidings
   to greatest, as to least;
they bade men rise, and hasten
   to share the great King's feast;
and this was all their teaching,
   in every deed and word,
to all alike proclaiming
   one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Through many a day of darkness,
   through many a scene of strife,
the faithful few fought bravely
   to guard the nation's life.
Their gospel of redemption,
   sin pardoned, man restored,
was all in this enfolded,
   one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

And we, shall we be faithless?
   Shall hearts fail, hands hang down?
Shall we evade the conflict,
   and cast away our crown?
Not so: in God's deep counsels
   some better thing is stored;
we will maintain, unflinching,
   one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Thy mercy will not fail us,
   nor leave thy work undone;
with thy right hand to help us,
   the victory shall be won;
and then, by men and angels,
   thy name shall be adored,
and this shall be their anthem,
   one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

Words: Edward Plumptre (1821–91)
Tune: 'Thornbury' 485 NEH, Basil Harwood (1859–1949)


All remain standing as the choir and clergy depart


Music after the service

Fuga über den Namen Bach Op 60 no 1, Robert Schumann (1810–56)


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


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View Order of Service