Holy Week and Easter

Dates 09 Apr 2023

Holy Week and Easter 2023


Holy Week is a quiet and sombre time as Christians recall the death of Jesus on the Cross and look forward to the joy of Easter, the most important festival of the Christian year. Everyone is welcome to attend the services and events during this period, where there will also be a new Easter Garden created outside the Cathedral.

Please note that during Holy Week and Easter the Cathedral’s opening times for visitors will vary. Please see the Visit Us page for the latest information.


The Easter Garden
Saturday 25 March – Friday 26 May

New this year, a living Easter Garden will be created next to the Visitor Entrance into the Cloisters. The vision of Hampshire-based horticultural designer Andy Mcindoe, the Mediterranean plants will draw visitors back to the landscape and story of Jesus. Three crosses and a sealed tomb will remind us of his sacrificial death and burial on Good Friday, before the stone is rolled aside and the tomb opened on Easter Day as we recall Jesus’ defeat of death and promise of salvation. The garden will continue throughout the season of Eastertide.


Palm Sunday, 2 April

08:00 – Holy Communion
09:15 – Family Service
10:30 – The Eucharist with Procession of Palms from Choristers’ Green
16:30 – Choral Evensong


Monday of Holy Week, 3 April

07:30 – Morning Prayer
07:45 – The Eucharist
10:00 – Reflective Prayer: Jesus’ Passion in Poetry
17:30 – Evening Prayer
19:30 – Compline with Holy Week Addresses


Tuesday of Holy Week, 4 April

07:30 – Morning Prayer
07:45 – The Eucharist
12:00 – Holy Communion
17:30 – Choral Evensong
19:30 – Sarum Tenebrae: A Service of Shadows
This is a service with candles which are gradually extinguished, finishing in total darkness – find out more here.


Wednesday of Holy Week, 5 April

07:30 – Morning Prayer
07:45 – The Eucharist
17:30 – Evening Prayer
19:30 – Stainer: Crucifixion
The Cathedral Choir performs Stainer’s sacred oratorio for Lent.


Maundy Thursday, 6 April

07:30 – Morning prayer
07:45 – The Eucharist
11:00 – Eucharist of the Chrism and Re-Affirmation of Vows
Celebrating ministry and service, the Chrism Mass is an opportunity for the clergy and everyone to renew their Christian commitment by renewing their ordination vows. The Bishop leads this service and blesses oils for use in ministry during the following year.
17:30 – Choral Evensong
19:30 – The Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper
21:00-00:00 – The Watch of the Passion


Good Friday, 7 April

07:30 – Morning Prayer
10:00 – Family Service, held jointly with St Thomas’ Church
This service is aimed at families and young children, telling the story of Good Friday.
12:00 – Good Friday Devotion
13:30 – The Liturgy of Good Friday


Holy Saturday, 8 April

The Cathedral is is prepared for Easter while quiet prayer around the cross takes place. Visitors to the Cathedral on this day will be invited to spend a few moments of quiet reflection.
08:30 – Morning Prayer
10:00-16:30 – Meditation and Prayers
16:30 – Evening Prayer


Easter Day, 9 April

At the end of the Easter Vigil we move outside for the ‘sun arising in the East.’ We kindle a fire, from which the Easter Candle is lit, then enter the still-dark Cathedral and raise the candle as a sign of Jesus’ rising.

04:00 – The Easter Vigil and readings
This year, for the first time, the service concludes at the new Easter Garden outside the Cathedral, click here for more information. 
05:00 – The Easter Liturgy
08:00 – Holy Communion CW Order Two, Trinity Chapel, President Canon Nigel Davies, Vicar of the Close
10:30 – The Eucharist with Blessing of the Easter Garden
15:00 – Festal Evensong