Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Sunday, 9th January 2022

15:00

The Baptism of Christ - First 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

Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam
Nach seines Vaters Willen,
Von Sankt Johanns die Taufe nahm,
Sein Werk und Amt zu erfüllen;
Da wollt er stiften uns ein Bad,
Zu waschen uns von Sünden,
Ersäufen auch den bittern Tod
Durch sein selbst Blut und Wunden;
Es galt ein neues Leben.

Christ our Lord came to the Jordan,
according to his Father's will,
to take his baptism of Saint John,
to fulfil his work and calling.
Therein he would appoint for us a bath
to wash us from sin,
and also drown that bitter death
through his own blood and wounds:
it was no less than a new life.

Words: Martin Luther (1483–1546)
Music: Wolff Heintz (c 1490–c 1552)


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.

Thomas Tallis (c 1505–85)


All sit. The choir sings Psalms 46 and 47

God is our hope and strength : a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved : and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea.
Though the waters thereof rage and swell : and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
The rivers of the flood thereof shall make glad the city of God : the holy place of the tabernacle of the most Highest.
God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed : God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved : but God hath shewed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.
The Lord of hosts is with us : the God of Jacob is our refuge.
O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord : what destruction he hath brought upon the earth.
He maketh wars to cease in all the world : he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.
Be still then, and know that I am God : I will be exalted among the heathen, and I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us : the God of Jacob is our refuge.

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 clap your hands together, all ye people : O sing unto God with the voice of melody.
For the Lord is high, and to be feared : he is the great King upon all the earth.
He shall subdue the people under us : and the nations under our feet.
He shall choose out an heritage for us : even the worship of Jacob, whom he loved.
God is gone up with a merry noise : and the Lord with the sound of the trump.
O sing praises, sing praises unto our God : O sing praises, sing praises unto our King.
For God is the King of all the earth : sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigneth over the heathen : God sitteth upon his holy seat.
The princes of the people are joined unto the people of the God of Abraham : for God, which is very high exalted, doth defend the earth, as it were with a shield.

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, Isaiah 55: 1–11

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


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 forefather, 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.

First Service, John Sheppard (c 1515–58)


All sit for the second Lesson, Romans 6: 1–11

What are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.


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.

First Service, John Sheppard


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 Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people which call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; 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.

Composer


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

Pastores loquebantur ad invicem: transeamus usque Bethlehem et videamus hoc verbum quod factum est, quod Dominus ostendit nobis. Et venerunt festinantes, et invenerunt Mariam et Joseph et infantem positum in præsepio. Alleluia!

The shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.' So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. Alleluia!

Words: Luke 2: 15b–16
Music: Francisco Guerrero (c 1528–99)


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

The sinless one to Jordan came
to share our fallen nature's blame;
God's righteousness he thus fulfilled
and chose the path his Father willed.

Uprising from the waters there,
the voice from heaven did witness bear
that he, the Son of God, had come
to lead his scattered people home.

Above him see the heavenly Dove,
the sign of God the Father's love,
now by the Holy Spirit shed
upon the Son's anointed head.

How blest that mission then begun
to heal and save a race undone;
straight to the wilderness he goes
to wrestle with his people's foes.

Dear Lord, let those baptized from sin
go forth with you, a world to win,
and send the Holy Spirit's power
to shield them in temptation's hour.

On you shall all your people feed
and know you are the Bread indeed,
who gives eternal life to those
that with you died, and with you rose.

Words: George Timms (1910–97)
Tune: Solemnis haec festivitas 58 NEH, Paris Gradual 1685


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

Praeludium in D BuxWV 139, Dieterich Buxtehude (c 1637–1707)


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