Westminster Abbey

Thursday, 21st 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.

Composer: plainsong


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 119: 145–160

I call with my whole heart : hear me, O Lord, I will keep thy statutes.
Yea, even unto thee do I call : help me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
Early in the morning do I cry unto thee : for in thy word is my trust.
Mine eyes prevent the night-watches : that I might be occupied in thy words.
Hear my voice, O Lord, according unto thy loving-kindness : quicken me, according as thou art wont.
They draw nigh that of malice persecute me : and are far from thy law.
Be thou nigh at hand, O Lord : for all thy commandments are true.
As concerning thy testimonies, I have known long since : that thou hast grounded them for ever.

O consider mine adversity, and deliver me : for I do not forget thy law.
Avenge thou my cause, and deliver me : quicken me, according to thy word.
Health is far from the ungodly : for they regard not thy statutes.
Great is thy mercy, O Lord : quicken me, as thou art wont.
Many there are that trouble me, and persecute me : yet do I not swerve from thy testimonies.
It grieveth me when I see the transgressors : because they keep not thy law.
Consider, O Lord, how I love thy commandments : O quicken me, according to thy loving-kindness.
Thy word is true from everlasting : all the judgements of thy righteousness endure for evermore.

All stand

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 sit for the first Lesson, Exodus 12: 1–20

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread.


All stand. The choir sings Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit rejoiceth 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 father Abraham, and to his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, and is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Short Service, Christopher Tye (c 1505–c 72)


All sit for the second Lesson, 1 Thessalonians 4: 1–12

Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you knows how to control your own body in holiness and honour, not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one wrongs or exploits a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one.


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, and is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Short Service, Christopher Tye


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

Christe, qui lux es et dies,
noctis tenebras detegis,
lucisque lumen crederis,
lumen beatum praedicans.

Precamur, sancte Domine,
defende nos in hac nocte;
sit nobis in te requies,
quietam noctem tribue.

Ne gravis somnus inruat,
nec hostis nos subripiat,
nec caro illi consentiens
nos tibi reos statuat.

Oculi somnum capiant,
cor ad te semper vigilet,
dextera tua protegat
famulos qui te diligunt.

Defensor noster, aspice,
insidiantem reprime
guberna tuos famulos,
quos sanguine mercatus es.

Memento nostri, Domine,
in gravi isto corpore;
qui es defensor animae,
adesto nobis, Domine.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
eiusque soli Filio,
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
et nunc et in perpetuum. Amen.

O Christ, who is the light and day,
you reveal the gloom of night,
and Light of light you are trusted,
proclaiming the holy light.

We pray, O holy Lord,
defend us this night;
that our rest might be in you,
bestow to us a quiet night.

Lest not our sleep be assailed by care,
nor our enemy snatch us away,
nor our flesh conspiring
make us guilty before you.

Eyes may be filled with sleep,
yet the heart is always awake to you,
may your right hand protect
those servants who love you.

You our shield, behold,
restrain those who lie in wait
guide your servants,
whom you have ransomed by your blood.

Remember us, O Lord,
by this our burdensome flesh;
you who are the defender of the soul,
be near us, O Lord.

Glory be to God the Father,
and to his only Son,
with the Spirit, Comforter,
both now and for evermore. Amen.

Words: anonymous, c 6th century
Music: Robert White (c 1538–74), Organist of Westminster Abbey 1570–74 


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.


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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