Westminster Abbey or St Pauls Cathedral?

Mar 4th, 2001, 01:02 PM
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Westminster Abbey or St Pauls Cathedral?

Has anyone attended a worship service on a Sunday at either Westminster Abbey or St Pauls? Is it realtively easy to get in?
Mar 4th, 2001, 01:25 PM
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On Sunday mornings, both places are closed to sightseers until after the last service. Anyone can attend by turning up at the main entrance (west door) in good time. There is a steward or a verger who may ask if you are attending a service. For Mattins (10 am at Abbey and 10.15 at St Paul's; Communion follow both services) and Evensong (3 pm at Abbey and 3.15 pm at St Paul's), if you turn up early, you may be allowed to sit in the choir. Services are usually open to all, though sometimes there are special services for which a ticket is needed. As St Paul's is also the cathedral church of the (Anglican) Diocese of London, they have services like Ordination for which a ticket is usually required, by prior written request. There are other services (e.g. a Royal occasion) for which entry is by invitation. You can check with the Chapter Office: Westminster Abbey 020 7222 5152, St Paul's 020 7236 4128.
Mar 4th, 2001, 01:51 PM
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Further to my above reply, it's quite a while since I last attended Sunday services at either church, because I now live in North of England. Both places use 'Prayer Book' type services for Mattins and Evensong, and modern services from 'Common Worship' for Sung Eucharist. Even if you are unfamiliar with Anglican services, they give you an order of service which is easy to follow. As for standing, sitting and kneeling, it's best to follow what others do. If you sit in the choir, you are free to join in the hymns. But for psalms, canticles and responses sung by the choir, you are expected not to join in, but participate by 'attentive listening'. Once, standing just behind the choristers, I inadvertently started singing psalms with them, and I can remember my embarrassment when some of them turned around to see who was singing 'out of tune'!!! But each time I was most warmly welcomed by the staff and congregation.
Mar 4th, 2001, 02:08 PM
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I attended the 10am Matins service in Westminster Abbey. Just show up a little before the service begins, and let them know you are there for the service. No problem at all. For me, it was quite a facinating experience, especially since all the hords of tourists weren't around. It really gave you the opportunity to enjoy being in the Abbey. Make sure and return another day and take the guided tour by the verger.
Mar 4th, 2001, 04:29 PM
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Two years ago we attended a Sunday service at St. Paul's and an evensong service at Westminster Abbey. My personal opinion is that there is no better way to experience these great cathedrals. We have attended church services in others countries also, but the advantage in England is that we can understand the language (being from the US). If I am remembering correctly, we had a very nice lunch after the service at St. Paul's in the basement (they call it something else, but I can't remember what).
Mar 4th, 2001, 04:44 PM
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Thank you all for your replies..being originally from England we are episopalians/church of england and I think it would be a great experience to attend a service at either. Our teenagers are in the choir, so they would be thrilled to sit in the choir.
Mar 5th, 2001, 07:52 AM
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We attended Easter service at St. Paul's a couple of years ago. We thought we had allowed plenty of time, but the crowd was very large and we had to sit on the side in folding chairs. We enjoyed the service very much--dress was everything from typical Easter Sunday dress up to jeans and back packs.
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