The Abbey and St Margaret's Church are currently closed for general visiting but we remain open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily services.
The Abbey is also open for individual prayer from 10:30am - 12:30pm, Monday to Saturday.
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.
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The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey.
Setting: Tomás Luis de Victoria (c 1546–1611), Missa Gaudeamus
All stand as the clergy enter.
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!
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, all are welcome in this, our Father's house. As we gather on the Lord's Day may we know Christ in the scriptures and in the breaking of the bread, and worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.
All remain standing. The president introduces the Prayers of Penitence
Christ our passover lamb has been sacrificed for us. As the risen Lord welcomes us into his presence in word and sacrament, let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil and confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.
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.
All sit after the opening phrase, Gloria in excelsis Deo sung by the choir
Gloria in excelsis Deo, 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 peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
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.
Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen.
All sit for the Reading from the Old Testament Isaiah 25: 6–9
On this mountain
the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away
the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
All say Psalm 118: 14–25
The Lord is my strength and my song
and he has become my salvation.
Joyful shouts of salvation
sound from the tents of the righteous:
'The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds; the right hand of the Lord raises up;
the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds.'
I shall not die, but live
and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely,
but he has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness
that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing
and it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Come, O Lord, and save us we pray.
Come, Lord, send us now prosperity.
The Reading from the New Testament Acts 10: 34–43
Peter began to speak to those assembled in the house of Cornelius: '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.'
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
All stand for the Procession of the Gospel. The choir sings the Motet
Surrexit Christus Dominus Mundi redemptor unicus Hoc scimus docti ab angelis Qui nunciarunt foeminis. Alleluia! Surrexit cum victoria Mortis fracta potentia: Lustrate sepulcri specum Cernetis solum linteum Alleluia! Is nobis regnat jugiter Vita perennis arbiter Dat lucem et justitiam Salutem et mundiciam. Alleluia!
Christ the Lord has risen, The one redeemer of the world We know this because the angels were there, Who spoke to the women. Alleluia! He has risen with victory, the power of death being broken: Inspecting the light of the tomb, You will only find linen. Alleluia! He perpetually reigns over us, Through the judge comes eternal life He gives light and justice, Salvation and purity. Alleluia!
Michael Praetorius (1571–1621)
The reader announces the Gospel John 20: 1–18
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.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.' Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' She said to them, 'They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.' When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?' Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbouni!' (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."' Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord'; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
The Sermon by The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster
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
The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then were they glad when they saw the Lord. 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. Please do not shake hands
All sit. The choir sings the Motet
Ego sum, qui sum, et consilium meum non est cum impiis: sed in lege Domini voluntas mea est: Alleluia! Postulavi patrem meum dedit mihi gentes in haereditatem: Alleluia! Ego dormivi et somnum cepi, et resurrexi: quoniam Dominus suscepit me: Alleluia!
I am who I am, and my counsel is not with the wicked, but my will is in the law of the Lord. Alleluia! I asked my Father, and he gave me the nations as an inheritance. Alleluia! I slept and took rest, and rose, for the Lord hath protected me. Alleluia!
Words: Antiphon at Matins on Easter Day
Music: Giovanni Gabrieli (c 1554–1612)
All stand for the Eucharistic Prayer. The president says
The Lord be with you
and also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, almighty and eternal Father, and in these days of Easter to celebrate with joyful hearts the memory of your wonderful works.
For by the mystery of his passion Jesus Christ, your risen Son, has conquered the powers of death of hell and restored in men and women the image of your glory. He has placed them once more in paradise and opened to them the gate of life eternal.
And so, in the joy of this Passover, earth and heaven resound with gladness, while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation sing for ever the hymn of your glory:
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.
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
Let us pray, with confidence, in the words our Saviour 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 president receives communion, then says
The body and blood of Christ keep you in eternal life. Amen.
The clergy and congregation receive Holy Communion in one kind (bread only). Gluten-free wafers are available. No words of distribution are said. Hand-sanitiser is provided, and those receiving communion are advised to use it before and after adjusting their face-coverings
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.
Christ rising again from the dead now dieth not. Death from henceforth hath no power upon him. For in that he died, he died but once to put away sin: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God, and so likewise, count yourselves dead unto sin; but living unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ is risen again, the first fruits of them that sleep. For seeing that by man came death, by man also cometh the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all men do die, so by Christ all men shall be restored to life. Amen.
Words: Romans 6: 9–11; 1 Corinthians 15: 20–22
Music: William Byrd (c 1540–1623)
All stand. The president says the Prayer after Communion
Let us pray.
Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son: by the power of your Spirit complete the heavenly work of our rebirth through the waters of the new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord be with you
and also with you.
The president pronounces the Blessing
God the Father, by whose love Christ was raised from the dead, open to you who believe the gates of everlasting life. Amen.
God the Son, who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory, give you joy as you share the Easter faith. Amen.
God the Holy Spirit, who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord, empower you and fill you with Christ's peace. Amen.
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia!
Music after the service
Chorale-Improvisation on Victimae Paschali, Charles Tournemire (1870–1939)
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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
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You are surrounded by history at the Abbey, not like a museum where it’s just displayed, but here you are standing where history has happened.