Order of Service

Today's services

Westminster Abbey

Thursday, 20th June 2024

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 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 of Westminster Abbey.

Following the service, a collection will be takenthe money from today's services will be divided equally between Christian Aid and the work of the Abbey. Christian Aid exists to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.


Order of Service


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


The choir sings the Introit

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

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

Christum rogamus et Patrem,
Christi Patrisque Spiritum;
Unum potens per omnia,
Fove precantes, Trinitas.
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.

We beseech Christ and the Father and the Spirit who is of both: O one almighty Trinity, guard those who pray to you. Amen.

Words: anonymous, 4th century
Music: plainsong


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

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.

Music: plainsong


All sit. The choir sings Psalm 104: 1–15

Praise the Lord, O my soul : O Lord my God, thou art become exceeding glorious; thou art clothed with majesty and honour.
Thou deckest thyself with light as it were with a garment : and spreadest out the heavens like a curtain.
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters : and maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings of the wind.
He maketh his angels spirits : and his ministers a flaming fire.
He laid the foundations of the earth : that it never should move at any time.
Thou coveredst it with the deep like as with a garment : the waters stand in the hills.
At thy rebuke they flee : at the voice of thy thunder they are afraid.
They go up as high as the hills, and down to the valleys beneath : even unto the place which thou hast appointed for them.
Thou hast set them their bounds which they shall not pass : neither turn again to cover the earth.
He sendeth the springs into the rivers : which run among the hills.
All beasts of the field drink thereof : and the wild asses quench their thirst.
Beside them shall the fowls of the air have their habitation : and sing among the branches.
He watereth the hills from above : the earth is filled with the fruit of thy works.
He bringeth forth grass for the cattle : and green herb for the service of men;
that he may bring food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man : and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen man's heart.

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.

Chant: plainsong


All sit for the first Lesson, Isaiah 57: 14–end

It shall be said,
'Build up, build up, prepare the way,
   remove every obstruction from my people's way.'
For thus says the high and lofty one
   who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
   and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
   and to revive the heart of the contrite.
For I will not continually accuse,
   nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me,
   even the souls that I have made.
Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
   I struck them, I hid and was angry;
   but they kept turning back to their own ways.
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
   I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
   creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord;
   and I will heal them.
But the wicked are like the tossing sea
   that cannot keep still;
   its waters toss up mire and mud.
There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

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 primi toni a 8, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c 1525–94)


All sit for the second Lesson, John 13: 1–17

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' Jesus answered, 'You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.' Peter said to him, 'You will never wash my feet.' Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.' Simon Peter said to him, 'Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!' Jesus said to him, 'One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.' For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, 'Not all of you are clean.'

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.'

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, Tomás Luis de Victoria (c 1548–1611)


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

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; 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.

Music: plainsong


All sit. The choir sings the Anthem

A new commandment give I unto you, saith the Lord, that ye love together as I have loved you, that even so ye love one another. By this shall every man know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Words: John 13: 34–35
Music: Thomas Tallis (c 1505–85)


All kneel or remain seated for the Intercessions


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 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


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Today's Services

Friday, 12th July 2024
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
said
8.00am Holy Communion St Faith's Chapel
said
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
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5.00pm Evensong Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

attr Farrant Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake
Clucas Responses
Victoria Magnificat primi toni
Victoria Nunc dimittis tertii toni
Harris Bring us, O Lord God

View Order of Service