Westminster Abbey

Saturday, 16th October 2021

15:00

Saturday of the Octave of the Translation of St Edward the Confessor

First Evensong of the Dedication of Westminster Abbey

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.

The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey.


Introduction


The Dedication of Westminster Abbey

St Edward the Confessor, King of England from 1042 to 1066, re-endowed the Benedictine monastery of Westminster and built a large Romanesque church for the monastic community. That building was dedicated on 28th December 1065. St Edward died shortly after the dedication. He was canonised in 1161 and on 13th October 1163 his body was moved, or 'translated', to a new tomb in the church which he had built.

St Edward's Romanesque church survived until the 13th century, when it was replaced by a new church in the Gothic style built by Henry III: the building in which we now worship. A new shrine was constructed for the body of St Edward, and the translation of his relics to this shrine was an integral part of the liturgy of the dedication of this new church, 750 years ago, on 13th October 1269. The October date was chosen for the dedication because it was already established as the Feast of the Translation of St Edward. St Edward's relics remain in that same shrine, which is behind the High Altar.

At the Abbey we keep the Feast of the Translation of St Edward on 13th October, a celebration which focuses on the life of the Saint. We keep the Feast of the Dedication of Westminster Abbey, focusing on the building as a sacred space, on the following Sunday.


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


The choir sings the Introit

Locus iste a Deo factus est, inaestimabile sacramentum: irreprehensibilis est.

This place was made by God: a priceless and unblemished sign of his presence.

Words: Gradual, Mass for the dedication of a church
Music: Anton Bruckner (1824–96)


All remain standing as the officiant introduces a general 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 such things as their well-being doth require. Wherefore let us 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, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.

Composer: Bernard Rose (1916–96)


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 122

I was glad when they said unto me : We will go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet shall stand in thy gates : O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city : that is at unity in itself.
For thither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord : to testify unto Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.
For there is the seat of judgement : even the seat of the house of David.
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls : and plenteousness within thy palaces.
For my brethren and companions' sakes : I will wish thee prosperity.
Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God : I will seek to do thee good.

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.

Chant: Walter Parratt (1841–1924)


All remain seated for the first Lesson, 2 Chronicles 7: 11–16

Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king's house; all that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished.

Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: 'I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that my name may be there for ever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time.


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.

Collegium Regale, Herbert Howells (1892–1983)


All sit for the second Lesson, John 4: 19–29

The woman said to Jesus, 'Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.' Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.' The woman said to him, 'I know that Messiah is coming' (who is called Christ). 'When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.' Jesus said to her, 'I am he, the one who is speaking to you.'

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, 'What do you want?' or, 'Why are you speaking with her?' Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?'


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.

Collegium Regale, Herbert Howells


All 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 Queen.
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 Sovereign God, who didst set thy servant Saint Edward upon the throne of an earthly kingdom and didst inspire him with zeal for the kingdom of heaven; grant that we may so confess the faith of Christ by word and deed, that we may, with all thy saints, inherit thine eternal 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.

Bernard Rose


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 Lady, Queen Elizabeth, Charles Prince 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 Brotherhood of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath living and departed. Amen.


All sit. The choir sings the Anthem

We praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers therein.
To thee cherubin, and seraphin, continually do cry,
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;
the Father of an infinite majesty;
thine honourable, true, and only Son;
also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.
Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the Glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people and bless thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee;
and we worship thy name, ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

Herbert Howells, Collegium Regale


All kneel or remain 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 to sing the Hymn

Christ is the King, O friends rejoice!
Brothers and sisters, with one voice
make all men know he is your choice:
   Alleluia!

The first Apostles round them drew
thousands of faithful men and true,
sharing a faith for ever new:
   Alleluia!

Then magnify the Lord and raise
anthems of joy and holy praise
for Christ's brave saints of ancient days:
   Alleluia!

O Christian women, Christian men,
all the world over, seek again
the Way disciples followed then:
   Alleluia!

Christ through all ages is the same;
place the same hope in his great name,
with the same faith his word proclaim:
   Alleluia!

Let Love's unconquerable might
God's people everywhere unite
in service to the Lord of light:
   Alleluia!

Words: George Bell (1883–1958)
Tune: Vulpius (Gelob
t sei Gott) 345 NEH, Melchior Vulpius's Gesangbuch 1609


All remain standing for the Blessing


Music after the service

Apparition de l'église éternelle, Olivier Messiaen (1908–92)


Those who wish to may sit for the remainder of the organ voluntary. As you leave the church, please be sensitive to those who might wish to maintain social-distancing.


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Today's Services

Monday, 29th November 2021
Nicholas Litlyngton, Abbot of Westminster, 1386
7.30am Morning Prayer St Margaret's Church
said
8.00am Holy Communion St Margaret's Church
said
5.00pm Evening Prayer Quire
said
View Order of Service