Westminster Abbey

Saturday, 21st May 2022

17:00

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 Choir of Westminster Abbey.


Order of Service


The choir sings the Introit

Jesu, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.

Words: Bernard of Clairvaux (c 1090–1153), translated by Edward Caswall (1814–78)
Music: Edward Bairstow (1874–1946)


All stand as the choir and clergy enter


All remain standing as the officiant introduces a general 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.
The Lord's name be praised.

Composer: Humphrey Clucas (b 1941)


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.

Chant: John Goss (1800–80)

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.

Chant: Charles Naylor (1869–1945)


All sit for the first Lesson, Isaiah 38: 9–20

I said: In the noontide of my days
   I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
   for the rest of my years.
I said, I shall not see the Lord
   in the land of the living;
I shall look upon mortals no more
   among the inhabitants of the world.
My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
   like a shepherd's tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
   he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;
   I cry for help until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
   from day to night you bring me to an end.

Like a swallow or a crane I clamour,
   I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upwards.
   O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!
But what can I say? For he has spoken to me,
   and he himself has done it.
All my sleep has fled
   because of the bitterness of my soul.

O Lord, by these things people live,
   and in all these is the life of my spirit.
   O restore me to health and make me live!
Surely it was for my welfare
   that I had great bitterness;
but you have held back my life
   from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
   behind your back.
For Sheol cannot thank you,
   death cannot praise you;
those who go down to the Pit cannot hope
   for your faithfulness.
The living, the living, they thank you,
   as I do this day;
fathers make known to children
   your faithfulness.

The Lord will save me,
   and we will sing to stringed instruments
all the days of our lives,
   at the house of the Lord.


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.

Interpolated antiphon

Greater in honour than the cherubim, and glorious incomparably more than the seraphim; thou who inviolate didst bring forth God the Word, and art indeed the Mother of God: thee do we magnify.

Collegium Regale, John Tavener (1944–2012)


All sit for the second Lesson, Luke 24: 33–end

The two got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, 'The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!' Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, 'Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.' And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?' They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

Then he said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.' Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.'

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing 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.

Collegium Regale, John Tavener (1944–2012)


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, from whom all good things do come; grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.

Humphrey Clucas


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 beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
   and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past,
   the rain is over and gone:
the flowers appear on the earth;
   the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle
   is heard in our land;
the fig-tree putteth forth her green figs,
   and the vines with the tender grape
   give a good smell.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away.

Words: Song of Solomon 2: 10–13
Music: Patrick Hadley (1899–1973)


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


Forth in the peace of Christ we go;
   Christ to the world with joy we bring;
Christ in our minds, Christ on our lips,
   Christ in our hearts, the world's true King.

King of our hearts, Christ makes us kings;
   kingship with him his servants gain;
with Christ, the Servant-Lord of all,
   Christ's world we serve to share Christ's reign.

Priests of the world, Christ sends us forth
   this world of time to consecrate,
this world of sin by grace to heal,
   Christ's world in Christ to re-create.

Christ's are our lips, his word we speak;
   prophets are we whose deeds proclaim
Christ's truth in love, that we may be
   Christ in the world, to spread Christ's name.

We are the Church; Christ bids us show
   that in his Church all nations find
their hearth and home, where Christ restores
   true peace, true love, to all mankind.

Words: James Quinn (1919–2010)
Tune: Deo gracias 361 NEH, English, 15th century


All remain standing as the choir and clergy depart


Music after the service

Prelude in C minor, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)


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


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Today's Services

Tuesday, 28th June 2022
St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, teacher of the faith, c 202
7.30am Morning Prayer Quire
said
8.00am Holy Communion Shrine
said
12.30pm Holy Communion Nave
said
5.00pm First Evensong of St Peter Quire
sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey

Tallis Mihi autem nimis
Byrd Responses
Weelkes Service 'for trebles'
Gibbons Almighty God, who by thy Son

View Order of Service