Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Tuesday, 19th October 2021

17:00

Evensong

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 Lay Vicars.


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


The choir sings the Introit

Ô mes très chers frères et mes enfants bénis pour toute l'éternité, écoutez moi, écoutez la voix de votre Père: Nous avons promis de grandes choses, on nous en a promis de plus grandes; gardons les unes et soupirons après les autres; le plaisir est court, la peine éternelle; la souffrance est légère, la gloire infinite; beaucoup sont appelés, peu sont élus; tous recevront ce qu'ils auront mérité. Ainsi soit il.

O my very dear brothers and my children blessed for all eternity, listen to me, listen to the voice of your Father: We have promised great things, yet we have been promised something greater than them; let us keep the one and long after the others; pleasure is short, pain eternal; suffering is light, glory infinite; many are called, few are chosen; all will receive that which they deserve. So be it.

Words: from the prayers of St Francis of Assisi
Music: Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)


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.

plainsong


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 119: 81–96

My soul hath longed for thy salvation : and I have a good hope because of thy word.
Mine eyes long sore for thy word : saying, O when wilt thou comfort me?
For I am become like a bottle in the smoke : yet do I not forget thy statutes.
How many are the days of thy servant : when wilt thou be avenged of them that persecute me?
The proud have digged pits for me : which are not after thy law.
All thy commandments are true : they persecute me falsely; O be thou my help.
They had almost made an end of me upon earth : but I forsook not thy commandments.
O quicken me after thy loving-kindness : and so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth.

O Lord, thy word : endureth for ever in heaven.
Thy truth also remaineth from one generation to another : thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and it abideth.
They continue this day according to thine ordinance : for all things serve thee.
If my delight had not been in thy law : I should have perished in my trouble.
I will never forget thy commandments : for with them thou hast quickened me.
I am thine, O save me : for I have sought thy commandments.
The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me : but I will consider thy testimonies.
I see that all things come to an end : but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

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.

plainsong


All remain seated for the first Lesson, Proverbs 31: 10–end

A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away.
She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson.
She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her:
'Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.'
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.


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, Luke 10: 38–42

As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.'


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 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 almighty and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done; 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.

plainsong


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

Verbe égal au Très-Haut, notre unique espérance,
Jour éternel de la terre et des cieux,
De la paisible nuit nous rompons le silence,
Divin Sauveur, jette sur nous les yeux!

Répands sur nous le feu de ta grâce puissante,
Que tout l'enfer fuie au son de ta voix,
Dissipe le sommeil d'une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l'oubli de tes lois!

O Christ, sois favorable à ce peuple ?dèle
Pour te bénir maintenant rassemblé,
Reçois les chants qu'il offre à ta gloire immortelle,
Et de tes dons qu'il retourne comblé!

O Word from on high, our only hope, heaven and earth's eternal day, we raise our voices in this peaceful night—divine Saviour, look upon us.

Breathe on us the ?re and power of your grace, let all hell ?ee at the sound of your voice, wake from their torpor these souls of ours which live forgetful of your laws.

O Christ, look favourably on your faithful people now gathered here to praise you. Accept the praise we offer to your eternal glory, and may we bear away with us the gifts of your grace.

Words: from Hymnes traduites du Brévaire Romain, Jean Racine (1639–99)
Music: Cantique de Jean Racine, Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924)


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 as the choir and clergy depart


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.


You can help us to improve our prototype order of service by completing a short online survey. Thank you for your support.

The Abbey is grateful for your support. Cash and contactless donations may be given as you leave via the Great West Door and will be divided equally between the work of the Abbey and charities working with disadvantaged young people. UK residents may also donate £5 or £10 to the work of the Abbey by texting respectively ABBEY5 or ABBEY10 to 70025.

Donations

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)

View Order of Service