Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 17th October 2021

11:15

THE DEDICATION OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY, 1269

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 Choir of Westminster Abbey.

Setting: Messe solennelle, Jean Langlais (1907–91)


Order of Service


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

Christ is made the sure foundation,
   and the precious corner-stone,
who, the two walls underlying,
   bound in each, binds both in one,
holy Sion's help for ever,
   and her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
   dearly loved by God on high,
in exultant jubilation
   pours perpetual melody,
God the One, in threefold glory,
   singing everlastingly.

To this temple, where we call thee,
   come, O Lord of hosts, today;
with thy wonted loving-kindness,
   hear thy people as they pray;
and thy fullest benediction
   shed within its walls for ay.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
   what they supplicate to gain;
here to have and hold for ever,
   those good things their prayers obtain,
and hereafter, in thy glory,
   with thy blessèd ones to reign.

Laud and honour to the Father;
   laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
   ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
   while unending ages run. Amen.

Words: Angularis fundamentum c 7th–8th century, translated by John Mason Neale (1818–66)
Tune: Westminster Abbey 205 NEH, Henry Purcell (1659–95), Organist of Westminst
er Abbey 1679–95


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.


All remain standing. The president introduces the Prayers of Penitence

We are a temple of God's indwelling Holy Spirit, yet we have grieved him. The temple of our bodies does not belong to us, but was bought at the price of Christ's precious blood. So we come, in sorrow yet with confidence, to ask forgiveness of our Father in heaven.

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.

Almighty God, to whose glory we celebrate the dedication of this house of prayer: we praise you for the many blessings you have given to those who worship you here: and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you, and, being filled with the Holy Spirit, may become a living temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, 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 Old Testament, 1 Chronicles 29: 6–14

The leaders of ancestral houses made their freewill-offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the thousands and of the hundreds, and the officers over the king's work. They gave for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. Whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, into the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with single mind they had offered freely to the Lord; King David also rejoiced greatly.

Then David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly; David said: 'Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, for ever and ever. Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Riches and honour come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.

'But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill-offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.'

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


The choir sings Psalm 132: 1–5, 8–9

Antiphon My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

Lord, remember for David all the hardships he endured;
How he swore an oath to the Lord and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
'I will not come within the shelter of my house, nor climb up into my bed;
I will not allow my eyes to sleep, nor let my eyelids slumber,
Until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.'

Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, you and the ark of your strength.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness and your faithful ones sing with joy.


The Epistle, Ephesians 2: 19–end

You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Lord, we love the house of your habitation and the place where your glory abides.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


The reader announces the Gospel, John 2: 13–22

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.

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, 'Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father's house a market-place!' His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for your house will consume me.' The Jews then said to him, 'What sign can you show us for doing this?' Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said, 'This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

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


The Sermon by The Reverend Canon Carl Turner Rector, Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, USA


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

Peace to this house from God our heavenly Father. Peace to this house from his Son who is our peace. Peace to this house from the Holy Spirit, the life-giver.

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 be sensitive to those who might not wish to shake hands


All remain standing. The choir sings the Anthem during which the nave altar, the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor, and the high altar are censed

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 builded as a city that is at unity in itself.
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls and plenteousness within thy palaces.

Words: Psalm 122: 1–3, 6–7
Music: Hubert Parry (1848–1918)


All remain standing to sing the Hymn

Christ is our corner-stone,
   on him alone we build;
with his true saints alone
   the courts of heaven are filled:
      on his great love
   our hopes we place
   of present grace
      and joys above.

Oh, then with hymns of praise
   these hallowed courts shall ring;
our voices we will raise
   the Three in One to sing;
      and thus proclaim
   in joyful song,
   both loud and long,
      that glorious name.

Here may we gain from heaven
   the grace which we implore;
and may that grace, once given,
   be with us evermore,
      until that day
   when all the blest
   to endless rest
      are called away.

Words: Angularis fundamentum lapis before 9th century, translated by John Chandler (1806–76)
Tune: Harewood 206 NEH, Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–76)


All remain standing 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 and good, our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, almighty and eternal Father, enthroned upon the praises of your people.

We thank you for this house of prayer, in which you bless your family as we come to you in pilgrimage. Here you reveal your presence in sacramental signs and make us one with you through the unseen bond of grace. Here you build your temple of living stones, and bring the Church to its full stature as the body of Christ throughout the world, to reach its perfection at last in the heavenly city of Jerusalem which is the vision of your peace.

Therefore, in union with the heavenly Jerusalem, with angels in joyful assembly, with all whose names are written in heaven, and with the spirits of the righteous made perfect, we lift up our voices to join in the triumphal song of praise.

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

As we join our prayers with those of the Church Universal, 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.


Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Blessed are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.


The clergy and congregation receive Holy Communion in one kind (bread only). Gluten-free wafers are available. Hand-sanitiser is provided for those who wish to use it. The minister says to each communicant

The body 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.


O sacrum convivium in quo Christus sumitur, recolitur memoria passionis ejus, mens impletur gratia, et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur. Alleluia!

O sacred banquet in which Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the mind filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. Alleluia!

Words: Magnificat Antiphon, Corpus Christi
Music: Olivier Messiaen (1908–92)


Let us pray.

All stand. The president says the Prayer after Communion

Father in heaven, whose Church on earth is a sign of your heavenly peace, an image of the new and eternal Jerusalem: grant to us in the days of our pilgrimage that, fed with the living bread of heaven, and united in the body of your Son, we may be the temple of your presence, the place of your glory on earth, and a sign of your peace in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you
and also with you.

The president pronounces the Blessing

God has given you the citizenship of heaven, with his blessed and beloved, and the whole company of the redeemed. Amen.

God give you the will to live each day in life eternal. Amen.

God bring you to the home that Christ prepares for all who love him. Amen.

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


Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.


Music after the service

Te Deum Op 11, Jeanne Demessieux (1921–68)


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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.

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Today's Services

Friday, 3rd December 2021
Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies, missionary, 1552
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
said
8.00am Holy Communion Nave
said
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
said
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Choristers

plainsong Conditor alme siderum
plainsong Responses
Magnificat tone VIII
Nunc dimittis tone I
Mendelssohn Veni Domine (Drei Motetten Op 39)

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