Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 24th October 2021

15:00

Last Sunday after Trinity

Evensong

Please join in saying the words and singing the hymn 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)


The officiant welcomes the congregation


All remain standing as the officiant introduces a general Confession

Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloke them before the face of almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me;


All kneel or sit

Almighty and most merciful Father; we have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.


The officiant gives the Absolution

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power and commandment to his ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins: he pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Philip Moore (b 1943)


All sit. The choir sings Psalms 132 and 133

Lord, remember David : and all his trouble;
how he sware unto the Lord : and vowed a vow unto the almighty God of Jacob;
I will not come within the tabernacle of mine house : nor climb up into my bed;
I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor mine eye-lids to slumber : neither the temples of my head to take any rest;
until I find out a place for the temple of the Lord : an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
Lo, we heard of the same at Ephrata : and found it in the wood.
We will go into his tabernacle : and fall low on our knees before his footstool.
Arise, O Lord, into thy resting-place : thou, and the ark of thy strength.
Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness : and let thy saints sing with joyfulness.
For thy servant David's sake : turn not away the presence of thine Anointed.
The Lord hath made a faithful oath unto David : and he shall not shrink from it;
of the fruit of thy body : shall I set upon thy seat.
If thy children will keep my covenant, and my testimonies that I shall learn them : their children also shall sit upon thy seat for evermore.
For the Lord hath chosen Sion to be an habitation for himself : he hath longed for her.
This shall be my rest for ever : here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein.
I will bless her victuals with increase : and will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will deck her priests with health : and her saints shall rejoice and sing.
There shall I make the horn of David to flourish : I have ordained a lantern for mine Anointed.
As for his enemies, I shall clothe them with shame : but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

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.


Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is : brethren, to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down unto the beard : even unto Aaron's beard, and went down to the skirts of his clothing.
Like as the dew of Hermon : which fell upon the hill of Sion.
For there the Lord promised his blessing : and life for evermore.

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, Ecclesiastes 11—12

Send out your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will get it back.
Divide your means seven ways, or even eight, for you do not know what disaster may happen on earth.
When clouds are full, they empty rain on the earth;
whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
Whoever observes the wind will not sow; and whoever regards the clouds will not reap.

Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother's womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

Even those who live for many years should rejoice in them all; yet let them remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgement.

Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them'; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with the rain; on the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working because they are few, and those who look through the windows see dimly; when the doors on the street are shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low; when one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets; before the silver cord is snapped, and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher; all is vanity.

Besides being wise, the Teacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly.

The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.


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.

Evening Canticles in E, Herbert Howells (18921983)


All sit for the second Lesson, 2 Timothy 2: 1–7

You, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier's aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.


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.

Evening Canticles in E, Herbert Howells


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

Grant, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; 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.

Philip Moore


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

My eyes for beauty pine,
My soul for Goddës grace;
No other care nor hope is mine,
To heaven I turn my face.

One splendour thence is shed
From all the stars above:
'Tis named when God's name is said,
'Tis Love, 'tis heavenly Love.

And every gentle heart,
That burns with true desire,
Is lit from eyes that mirror part
Of that celestial fire.

Words: Robert Bridges (1844–1930)
Music: Herbert Howells


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

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
   and put your armour on,
strong in the strength which God supplies
   through his eternal Son;

strong in the Lord of Hosts,
   and in his mighty power:
who in the strength of Jesus trusts
   is more than conqueror.

Stand then in his great might,
   with all his strength endued;
and take, to arm you for the fight,
   the panoply of God.

Leave no unguarded place,
   no weakness of the soul:
take every virtue, every grace,
   and fortify the whole.

From strength to strength go on,
   wrestle and fight and pray;
tread all the powers of darkness down
   and win the well-fought day.

That, having all things done,
   and all your conflicts past,
ye may o'ercome through Christ alone,
   and stand entire at last.

Words: Charles Wesley (1707–88), after Ephesians 6: 10–18
Tune: St Ethelwald 449 NEH, William Monk (1823–89)


The Sermon by The Venerable Adam Atkinson, Archdeacon of Charing Cross, Diocese of London


The Blessing. All respond Amen.


All stand as the clergy depart


Music after the service

Maestoso (Sonata in A minor), William Harris (1883–1973)


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