Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 23rd January 2022

15:00

Third Sunday of Epiphany

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

Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine,
   et tu das escam illorum in tempore opportuno.

Gloria tibi, Domine. Amen.

The eyes of all look to you, O Lord,
   and you give them their food in due season.

Glory to you, O Lord. Amen.

Words: Psalm 145: 15
Music: Nico Muhly (b 1981)


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 53 and 54

The foolish body hath said in his heart : There is no God.
Corrupt are they, and become abominable in their wickedness : there is none that doeth good.
God looked down from heaven upon the children of men : to see if there were any, that would understand, and seek after God.
But they are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become abominable : there is also none that doeth good, no not one.
Are not they without understanding that work wickedness : eating up my people as if they would eat bread? They have not called upon God.
They were afraid where no fear was : for God hath broken the bones of him that besieged thee; thou hast put them to confusion, because God hath despised them.
O that the salvation were given unto Israel out of Sion : O that the Lord would deliver his people out of captivity!
Then should Jacob rejoice : and Israel should be right glad.

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.


Save me, O God, for thy name's sake : and avenge me in thy strength.
Hear my prayer, O God : and hearken unto the words of my mouth.
For strangers are risen up against me : and tyrants, which have not God before their eyes, seek after my soul.
Behold, God is my helper : the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
He shall reward evil unto mine enemies : destroy thou them in thy truth.
An offering of a free heart will I give thee, and praise thy name, O Lord : because it is so comfortable.
For he hath delivered me out of all my trouble : and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

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, Numbers 9: 15–end

On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant; and from evening until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearance of fire. It was always so: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, then the Israelites would set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the Israelites would camp. At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp. Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle for many days, the Israelites would keep the charge of the Lord, and would not set out. Sometimes the cloud would remain for a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they would remain in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they would set out. Sometimes the cloud would remain from evening until morning; and when the cloud lifted in the morning, they would set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they would set out. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out; but when it lifted they would set out. At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.


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, 1 Corinthians 7: 17–24

However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is everything. Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were called.

Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever. For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.


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

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; 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

God made sun and moon to distinguish seasons, and day and night, and we cannot have the fruits of the earth but in their seasons; but God hath made no decree to distinguish the seasons of his mercies. In paradise the fruits were ripe the first minute, and in heaven it is always autumn. His mercies are ever in their maturity. If some king of the earth have so large an extent of dominion, in north and south, as that he hath winter and summer together in his dominions, so large an extent east and west as that he hath day and night together in his dominions, much more hath God mercy and judgement together. He brought light out of darkness, not out of a lesser light: he can bring thy summer out of winter, though thou have no spring; though in the ways of fortune or understanding or conscience, thou have been benighted till now; wintered and frozen, clouded and eclipsed, damped and benumbed, smothered and stupefied till now. Now God comes to thee, not as in the dawning of the day, not as in the bud of the spring, but as the sun at noon, to illustrate all shadows, as the sheaves in harvest to fill all penuries. All occasions invite his mercies, and all times are his seasons.

Words: from a sermon by John Donne (1572–1631)
Music: The Seasons of His Mercies Richard Rodney Bennett (1936–2012)


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

Hail, thou Source of every blessing,
   sovereign Father of mankind!
gentiles now, thy grace possessing,
   in thy courts admission find.

Once far off, but now invited,
   we approach thy sacred throne;
in thy covenant united,
   reconciled, redeemed, made one.

Now revealed to eastern sages,
   see the Star of mercy shine,
mystery hid in former ages,
   mystery great of love divine.

Hail, thou universal Saviour!
   gentiles now their offerings bring,
in thy temple seek thy favour,
   Jesu Christ, our Lord and King.

Words: Basil Woodd (1760–1831)
Tune: Redhead 51 NEH Richard Redhead (1820–1901)


The Sermon by The Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence


The Blessing. All respond Amen.


All stand as the clergy depart


Music after the service

Toccata (Toccata, Chorale, and Fugue Op 16), Francis Jackson (1917–2022)


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Today's Services

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St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, founder of Westminster Abbey, 988
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5.00pm Evening Prayer St Margaret's Church
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View Order of Service