Sunday Worship - Westminster Abbey - 03/06/2012
Hymn: Let all the world (Luckington)
Officiant: Sentence of Scripture and Welcome
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.
Psalm 33 (Cutler)
Lesson: Philippians 2: 1–13 (Canon Andrew Tremlett)
Here begins the second chapter of St Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Here ends the lesson.
Music: Te Deum in B flat (Stanford)
Officiant: 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.
Officiant: Litany, Lord’s Prayer and Responses (Rose)
The Lord be with you;
and with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
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.
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, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Officiant: Prayers for the Royal Family and 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, Philip Duke of Edinburgh, 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. Amen.
Anthem: O Lord make thy servant (Byrd)
O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen to rejoice in thy strength; give her her heart’s desire, and deny not the request of her lips; but prevent her with thine everlasting blessing, and give her a long life, even for ever and ever. Amen.
Sermon: The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster
On her 21st birthday in 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth broadcast a radio message to the young people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. She pledged to commit her whole life ‘whether it be long or short’ to duty and service. She spoke in solemn words about going forward together ‘with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart.’ She went on, ‘I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow.’ In this Diamond Jubilee year we celebrate 60 years since The Queen’s accession to the throne, 60 years of faithful service, 60 years in which she has truly made good the vow. In this act of worship, we thank God for his help and for his blessing on The Queen and her reign.
Yesterday was the 59th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation here in Westminster Abbey. In a year’s time we shall have a fuller opportunity of looking back over 60 years to The Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Today we can remind ourselves of the power of that occasion. The high point of the ceremony was of course the coronation itself, when the crown of St Edward, the 11th century King and Confessor, whose tomb is here in the Abbey, was placed on The Queen’s head by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But leading up to that moment were ceremonies of symbolic power.
‘Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king’ begins Handel’s anthem sung at the Coronation. And The Queen was anointed with holy oil. Traditionally, at the ordination of priests and bishops, the candidate is anointed with holy oil. This anointing carries great meaning, because the words Messiah and Christ, titles of our Lord Jesus, mean in Hebrew and Greek ‘the anointed one’. So the anointing of the Sovereign is a setting apart for service after the example of Jesus Christ, who said of himself that he came not to be served but to serve. The link with the setting apart of priests and bishops is emphasised when the Sovereign is clothed with a stole and mantle in cloth of gold, like the stole and cope worn by a priest. The final stage of the Coronation service in the Abbey 59 years ago was the moment when the Sovereign received the Bread and Wine in Holy Communion, confirming her intention to be sustained by God so that she could live and work after the example of our Lord.
The Queen said in a radio broadcast at the end of Coronation Day, ‘Throughout this memorable day I have been uplifted and sustained by the knowledge that your thoughts and prayers were with me. It is hard for me to find words in which to tell you of the strength which this knowledge has given me.’
This Diamond Jubilee year is an opportunity for us, our nation and Commonwealth to express in more vivid ways than usual our own thoughts and prayers for The Queen as we look back on 60 years of service and ministry. We can see in her life the extraordinary value of doing our duty, doing what is right, so different from doing what we do for the sake of celebrity or fame or fortune. Doing our duty could easily be thought dull and uninspired compared with more dramatic or touchy-feely or innovative approaches to life. But now we can see the value of duty done, day after day, week after week, year after year. This year we honour duty and service, carried out ‘with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart.’
In her 21st birthday address, The Queen added ‘God bless all of you who are willing to share in [my vow].’ We should reflect for a moment on the challenge offered each of us by The Queen’s example of dutiful service.
It is unfair to characterise the spirit of our own age as one of rampant selfishness and greed, where people generally put themselves first. It is true of everyone in every age: our intentions may be good, the spirit may be willing, but the flesh is too often weak. Left to ourselves, we certainly prefer to please ourselves, to put ourselves first. To do anything else, to put others first, requires of us efforts almost beyond our powers. But that is what we must do if we are to follow the example of Christ and build a community of love. The Queen said in her Christmas broadcast last year,
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
May we too know the power and love of the Saviour who said of himself that he came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many and may we too follow his example!
Hymn: All my hope on God is founded (Michael)
In celebration, of Her Majesty’s 60 years’ reign, let us pray that God’s blessing may continue to rest upon her.
Almighty God, who rulest over all the kingdoms of the world, and dost order them according to thy good pleasure: we yield thee unfeigned thanks, for that thou wast pleased to set thy Servant our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, upon the Throne of this Realm. Let thy wisdom be her guide, and let thine arm strengthen her; let truth and justice, holiness and righteousness, peace and charity, abound in her days; direct all her counsels and endeavours to thy glory, and the welfare of her subjects; give us grace to obey her cheerfully for conscience sake,
and let her always possess the hearts of her people; let her reign be long and prosperous, and crown her with everlasting life in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray for the health of this United Kingdom: for Her Majesty’s Government and for the Church in this land, for its unity and peace.
O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly union and concord: that, as there is but one Body, and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all; so we may henceforth be all of one heart, and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Giving thanks for Her Majesty’s devotion to duty and service, let us pray that we too may seek to serve the needs of others.
O heavenly Father, whose blessed Son declared to his disciples, ‘I am among you as one that serveth’: take from us, we pray thee, the spirit of selfishness, and deepen within us the spirit of service; that we may think less of our own interests and more of the needs of others, after the perfect example of the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest; to the Church, the Queen and the Commonwealth, and to all mankind, peace and concord; and to us sinners life everlasting. And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.
God save our gracious Queen,
long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
happy, and glorious,
long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.
Organ Voluntary: Allegro maestoso from Sonata in G Op 28 (Elgar)