Westminster Abbey

Saturday, 16th October 2021


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

Festival 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 a cantor.

Setting: Mass of St Thomas, David Thorne


St Edward the Confessor

Today we celebrate the life of St Edward the Confessor, King of England, 1042–66, and re-founder of Westminster Abbey. A confessor is a saint who shows particular courage in publicly bearing witness to their faith in Christ, without being a martyr who gives their life for Christ. Not long after his death St Edward was already seen to have been a man of particular holiness, a kind of crowned monk. He was declared a saint in 1161, and was especially venerated by many subsequent kings.

He rebuilt and greatly enriched Westminster Abbey, turning it into a national institution, and was buried here. On 13th October 1163, two years after his canonisation, his body was moved, or 'translated', to a shrine in the church which he had built. On the same date in 1269 his body was translated again to the shrine in the newly-built gothic Abbey. His relics, which attracted many pilgrims, are still housed in this shrine. It was veneration of St Edward that led to Westminster becoming the coronation church and the burial place of so many other kings and queens. It is with justice that the Abbey considers him to be its founder.

Order of Service

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

Who are these, like stars appearing,
   these before God's throne who stand?
Each a golden crown is wearing;
   who are all this glorious band?
      Alleluia, hark! they sing,
      praising loud their heavenly King.

Who are these of dazzling brightness,
   these in God's own truth arrayed,
clad in robes of purest whiteness,
   robes whose lustre ne'er shall fade,
ne'er be touched by time's rude hand—
whence comes all this glorious band?

These are they who have contended
   for their Saviour's honour long,
wrestling on till life has ended,
   following not the sinful throng;
these, who well the fight sustained,
triumph through the Lamb have gained.

These are they whose hearts were riven,
   sore with woe and anguish tried,
who in prayer full oft have striven
   with the God they glorified;
now, their painful conflict o'er,
God has bid them weep no more.

These like priests have watched and waited,
   offering up to Christ their will,
soul and body consecrated,
   day and night to serve him still:
now, in God's most holy place
blest they stand before his face.

Words: Wer sind die vor Gottes Throne Heinrich Schenck (1656–1727), translated by Frances Cox (1812–97)
Tune: All Saints 231 NEH, from Geistreiches Gesangbuch Darmstadt, 1698, adapted by William Monk (1823–89)

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

The saints were faithful unto death and now dwell in the heavenly kingdom for ever. As we celebrate their joy, let us bring to the Lord our sins and weaknesses, and ask for his mercy.

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 remain standing to sing Gloria in excelsis Deo

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest.

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest.

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.

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest.

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.

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest.

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 the Father.

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest.

All remain standing for the Collect

Let us pray.

Sovereign God, who set your servant Saint Edward upon the throne of an earthly kingdom and inspired 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 your saints, inherit your eternal glory; 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 Samuel 16: 1–13a

The Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.' Samuel said, 'How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.' And the Lord said, 'Take a heifer with you, and say, "I have come to sacrifice to the Lord." Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.' Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, 'Do you come peaceably?' He said, 'Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.' And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the Lord.' But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.' Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, 'Neither has the Lord chosen this one.' Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, 'Neither has the Lord chosen this one.' Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, 'The Lord has not chosen any of these.' Samuel said to Jesse, 'Are all your sons here?' And he said, 'There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.' And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.' He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, 'Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.' Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.

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

All say Psalm 89: 19–26

You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people:
'I have set a youth above the mighty; I have raised a young man over the people.
'I have found David my servant;
with my holy oil have I anointed him.
'My hand shall hold him fast
and my arm shall strengthen him.
'No enemy shall deceive him,
nor any wicked person afflict him.
'I will strike down his foes before his face
and beat down those that hate him.
'My truth also and my steadfast love shall be with him,
and in my name shall his head be exalted.
'I will set his dominion upon the sea
and his right hand upon the rivers.
'He shall call to me, "You are my Father,
my God, and the rock of my salvation"'

The Reading from the New Testament, 1 Timothy 2: 1–6

First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For

there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all

—this was attested at the right time.

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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

and all repeat

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

I have called you friends, says the Lord, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The reader announces the Gospel, Mark 10: 35–45

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

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

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, 'Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.' And he said to them, 'What is it you want me to do for you?' And they said to him, 'Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.' But Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They replied, 'We are able.' Then Jesus said to them, 'The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.'

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, 'You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.'

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

The Sermon by The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor former Dean of Hereford

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

May the God of peace sanctify you: may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before him at the coming of our Lord Jesus with his saints.

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 to sing the Hymn

Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
bright Seraphs, Cherubim, and Thrones,
   raise the glad strain, Alleluia!
Cry out Dominions, Princedoms, Powers,
Virtues, Archangels, Angels' choirs,

O higher than the Cherubim,
more glorious than the Seraphim,
   lead their praises, Alleluia!
Thou Bearer of the eternal Word,
most gracious, magnify the Lord,

Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
ye Patriarchs and Prophets blest,
   Alleluia, Alleluia!
Ye holy Twelve, ye Martyrs strong,
all Saints triumphant, raise the song

O friends, in gladness let us sing,
supernal anthems echoing,
   Alleluia, Alleluia!
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,

Words: Athelstan Riley (1858–1945)
Tune: Lasst uns erfreuen 478 NEH, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), adapted from a hymn in Geistliche Kirchengesang Cologne, 1623

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, out duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

We rejoice in the glorious splendour of your majesty for you have given us a share with Edward in the inheritance of the saints in light. In the darkness of this passing age they proclaim the glory of your kingdom. Chosen as lights in the world, they surround our steps as we journey on towards the city of eternal light where they sing the everlasting song of triumph.

In communion with angels and archangels and all who have served you on earth and worship you now in heaven, we raise our voices to proclaim your glory, for ever praising you and saying:

The cantor sings Sanctus

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 cantor sings Agnus Dei

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.

All stand to sing the Hymn

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does his successive journeys run;
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song,
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.

Blessings abound where'er he reigns:
the prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
the weary find eternal rest,
and all the sons of want are blest.

Let every creature rise and bring
peculiar honours to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the long Amen.

Words: Isaac Watts (1674–1748), after Psalm 72: 8–19
Tune: Truro 388i NEH, Psalmodia evangelica 1789

All remain standing. The president says the Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

God our redeemer, who inspired Saint Edward to witness to your love and to work for the coming of your kingdom: may we, who in this sacrament share the bread of heaven, be fired by your Spirit to proclaim the gospel in our daily living and never to rest content until your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

The president pronounces the Blessing

May God, who kindled the fire of his love in the hearts of Saint Edward the Confessor and all the saints, pour upon you the riches of his grace. Amen.

May he give you joy in their fellowship and a share in their praises. Amen.

May he strengthen you to follow them in the way of holiness and to come to the full radiance of glory. 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.
Thanks be to God.

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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

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