Order of Service

Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Saturday, 3rd June 2023

17:00

Evensong

Welcome to Westminster Abbey. Daily prayer has been offered in this place for over a thousand years, and your participation in today's service is warmly welcomed. At choral Evensong most of the service is sung by the choir on our behalf. We participate through our presence and our listening, that the words and the music might become a prayer within us and lift us to contemplate God's beauty and glory.

The service always includes one or more psalms. These ancient prayers, taken from the Old Testament, reflect the full range of human emotions and experiences; from the depths of anger, resentment, and abandonment to the heights of ecstatic joy and praise. They were used by Jesus, and have always been at the heart of the Church's daily prayer.

The canticles Magnificat (Luke 1: 46–55) and Nunc dimittis (Luke 2: 29–32) reflect two responses to the Incarnation (God becoming fully human in Jesus Christ). Both speak of the fulfilment of God's promises, not just to 'Abraham and his seed', but also 'to be a light to lighten the Gentiles' (all nations). With their themes of fulfilment and completion, these texts have been given central place for many centuries in the Church's prayers for the evening and at the end of the day.

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.

Following the service a collection will be taken. The money from today's services will be divided equally between St Andrew's Club and the work of the Abbey. St Andrew's is a community-based youth club, established over 150 years ago, which enriches young lives by providing a sense of belonging, fun, and informal education to over 500 members each year, where they develop self-confidence and respect for others, and build their abilities to contribute to society as good citizens.


Order of Service


The choir sings the Introit

Laus Trinitati, que sonus et vita ac creatrix omnium in vita ipsorum est, et que laus angelice turbe et mirus splendor archanorum, que hominibus ignota sunt, est, et que in omnibus vita est.

Praise to the Trinity, the sound and life and creativity of all within their life, the praise of the angelic host and wondrous, brilliant splendour hid, unknown to human minds, it is, and life within all things.

Words and music: Hildegard of Bingen (c 1098–1179)


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


All remain standing as the officiant introduces the 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 people 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.

Music: William Byrd (c 1540–1623)


All sit. The choir sings Psalms 97 and 98

The Lord is King, the earth may be glad thereof : yea, the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof.
Clouds and darkness are round about him : righteousness and judgement are the habitation of his seat.
There shall go a fire before him : and burn up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings gave shine unto the world : the earth saw it, and was afraid.
The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord : at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens have declared his righteousness : and all the people have seen his glory.
Confounded be all they that worship carved images, and that delight in vain gods : worship him, all ye gods.
Sion heard of it, and rejoiced : and the daughters of Judah were glad, because of thy judgements, O Lord.
For thou, Lord, art higher than all that are in the earth : thou art exalted far above all gods.
O ye that love the Lord, see that ye hate the thing which is evil : the Lord preserveth the souls of his saints; he shall deliver them from the hand of the ungodly.
There is sprung up a light for the righteous : and joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous : and give thanks for a remembrance of his holiness.

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.

O sing unto the Lord a new song : for he hath done marvellous things.
With his own right hand, and with his holy arm : hath he gotten himself the victory.
The Lord declared his salvation : his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
He hath remembered his mercy and truth toward the house of Israel : and all the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God.
Shew yourselves joyful unto the Lord, all ye lands : sing, rejoice, and give thanks.
Praise the Lord upon the harp : sing to the harp with a psalm of thanksgiving.
With trumpets also and shawms : O shew yourselves joyful before the Lord the King.
Let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is : the round world, and they that dwell therein.
Let the floods clap their hands, and let the hills be joyful together before the Lord : for he is come to judge the earth.
With righteousness shall he judge the world : and the people with equity.

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.

Chants: plainsong


All sit for the first Lesson, Exodus 34: 1–10

The Lord said to Moses, 'Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself there to me, on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and do not let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; and do not let flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.' So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, 'The Lord.' The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed,
'The Lord, the Lord,
a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation,
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,
yet by no means clearing the guilty,
but visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
and the children's children,
to the third and the fourth generation.'
And Moses quickly bowed his head towards the earth, and worshipped. He said, 'If now I have found favour in your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.'

He said: I hereby make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform marvels, such as have not been performed in all the earth or in any nation; and all the people among whom you live shall see the work of the Lord; for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.

Here ends the first lesson.


All stand. The choir sings Magnificat

Magnificat anima mea Dominum,
   et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo Salutari meo;
quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae.
   Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes;
quia fecit mihi Magna qui potens est,
   et sanctum nomen eius.
Et misericordia eius, a progenie in progenies
   timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo,
   dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede
   et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis
   et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum,
   recordatus misericordiae suae.
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
   Abraham et semini eius in saecula.

Gloria Patri, et Filio,
et Spiritui Sancto;
sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

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.

Magnificat tertii toni, Tomás Luis de Victoria (c 1548–1611)


All sit for the second Lesson, Mark 1: 1–13

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
   "Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight" ',
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, 'The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.'

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Here ends the second lesson.


All stand. The choir sings Nunc dimittis

Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine
   secundum verbum tuum in pace,
quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
   quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum,
lumen ad revelationem Gentium
   et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Gloria Patri et Filio
et Spiritui Sancto;
sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

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.

Nunc dimittis tertii toni, Ivo de Vento (c 1544–75)


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 King.
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, who hast given unto us thy servants grace by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the divine Majesty to worship the Unity; we beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. 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.

Music: Robert Quinney (b 1976)


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 Lord King Charles, Queen Camilla, William Prince of Wales, the Princess 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 Members of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath living and departed. Amen.


All sit. The choir sings the Anthem

O lux beata Trinitas,
Et principalis Unitas,
Iam sol recedit igneus,
Infunde lumen cordibus.

Te mane laudum carmine,
Te deprecamur vesperi,
Te nostra supplex gloria
Per cuncta laudet saecula.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Eiusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu paracleto,
Et nunc et in perpetuum.
   Amen.

O Trinity, O blessed light, and primal Unity: now as the fiery sun recedes, pour light into our hearts.

In the morning we praise you with song, in the evening to you we pray. Let our humble worship praise you throughout the ages.

Glory be to God the Father, and to his only Son, with the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Words: ascribed to Ambrose (c 340–97)
Music: William Byrd Cantiones Sacrae 1575


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

Father most holy, merciful and tender;
   Jesus our Saviour, with the Father reigning;
Spirit all-kindly, advocate, defender,
   light never waning;

Trinity sacred, unity unshaken;
   deity perfect, giving and forgiving,
light of the angels, life of the forsaken,
   hope of all living;

Maker of all things, all thy creatures praise thee;
   lo, all things serve thee through thy whole creation:
Hear us, Almighty, hear us as we raise thee
   heart's adoration.

To the all-ruling triune God be glory:
   Highest and greatest, help thou our endeavour,
we too would praise thee, giving honour worthy,
   now and for ever.
      Amen.

Words: O Pater sancte c 10th century, translated by Percy Dearmer (1867–1936) Canon of Westminster, 1931–36
Tune: Iste confessor 210ii NEH, Poitiers Antiphoner 1746


All remain standing as the choir and clergy depart


Music after the service

My Ladye Nevells Grownde, William Byrd My Ladye Nevells Booke


Those who wish to may sit for the remainder of the organ voluntary


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Today's Services

Saturday, 20th April 2024
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
said
8.40am Morning Prayer St Faith's Chapel
said
5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Lay Vicars

Praetorius Surrexit Christus Dominus
Rose Responses
Palestrina Magnificat sexti toni
Reid Nunc dimittis tertii toni
Palestrina Surrexit Pastor bonus
Mendelssohn Allegro con brio (Sonata IV)

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