Order of Service
Friday, 30th September 2022
Please join in saying the words printed in bold type.
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The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey.
Order of Service
All stand as the choir and clergy enter
The choir sings the Introit
Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake, lay not our sins to our charge, but forgive that is past; and give us grace to amend our sinful lives, to decline from sin, and incline to virtue, that we may walk in a perfect heart, before thee now and evermore. Amen.
Words: from Henry Bull's Christian Prayers and Holy Meditations 1566
Music: attributed to Richard Farrant (c 1525–80)
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
Composer: Richard Ayleward (1626–69)
All sit. The choir sings Psalm 72
Give the King thy judgements, O God : and thy righteousness unto the King's son.
Then shall he judge thy people according unto right : and defend the poor.
The mountains also shall bring peace : and the little hills righteousness unto the people.
He shall keep the simple folk by their right : defend the children of the poor, and punish the wrong doer.
They shall fear thee, as long as the sun and moon endureth : from one generation to another.
He shall come down like the rain into a fleece of wool : even as the drops that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish : yea, and abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth.
His dominion shall be also from the one sea to the other : and from the flood unto the world's end.
They that dwell in the wilderness shall kneel before him : his enemies shall lick the dust.
The kings of Tharsis and of the isles shall give presents : the kings of Arabia and Saba shall bring gifts.
All kings shall fall down before him : all nations shall do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor when he crieth : the needy also, and him that hath no helper.
He shall be favourable to the simple and needy : and shall preserve the souls of the poor.
He shall deliver their souls from falsehood and wrong : and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
He shall live, and unto him shall be given of the gold of Arabia : prayer shall be made ever unto him, and daily shall he be praised.
There shall be an heap of corn in the earth, high upon the hills : his fruit shall shake like Libanus, and shall be green in the city like grass upon the earth.
His name shall endure for ever; his name shall remain under the sun among the posterities : which shall be blessed through him; and all the heathen shall praise him.
Blessed be the Lord God, even the God of Israel : which only doeth wondrous things;
and blessed be the name of his majesty for ever : and all the earth shall be filled with his Majesty. Amen, Amen.
Chant: Ivor Atkins (1869–1953)
All sit for the first Lesson, Ecclesiasticus 1: 1–20
All wisdom is from the Lord,
and with him it remains for ever.
The sand of the sea, the drops of rain,
and the days of eternity—who can count them?
The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth,
the abyss, and wisdom—who can search them out?
Wisdom was created before all other things,
and prudent understanding from eternity.
The root of wisdom—to whom has it been revealed?
Her subtleties—who knows them?
There is but one who is wise, greatly to be feared,
seated upon his throne—the Lord.
It is he who created her;
he saw her and took her measure;
he poured her out upon all his works,
upon all the living according to his gift;
he lavished her upon those who love him.
The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation,
and gladness and a crown of rejoicing.
The fear of the Lord delights the heart,
and gives gladness and joy and long life.
Those who fear the Lord will have a happy end;
on the day of their death they will be blessed.
To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
she is created with the faithful in the womb.
She made among human beings an eternal foundation,
and among their descendants she will abide faithfully.
To fear the Lord is fullness of wisdom;
she inebriates mortals with her fruits;
she fills their whole house with desirable goods,
and their storehouses with her produce.
The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom,
making peace and perfect health to flourish.
She rained down knowledge and discerning comprehension,
and she heightened the glory of those who held her fast.
To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom,
and her branches are long life.
Here ends the first lesson.
All stand. The choir sings Magnificat
Second Service, Thomas Tomkins (1572–1656)
All sit for the second Lesson, 1 Corinthians 1: 18–end
The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.'
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'
Here ends the second lesson.
All stand. The choir sings Nunc dimittis
Second Service, Thomas Tomkins
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.
Let us pray.
All kneel or sit. The officiant and choir sing the Lesser Litany, the Lord's Prayer, and the Responses
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.
The officiant sings the Collects; of the day, for peace, and for aid against all perils
Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy: and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; 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.
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, Camilla the Queen Consort, 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
Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Words: Collect for Holy Communion The Book of Common Prayer 1549
Music: William Byrd (c 1540–1623)
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 as the choir and clergy depart
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