The Holy Week and Easter period is one of the busiest and most important periods in the Church year, with over thirty services and events taking place over the seven days from Palm Sunday on 14 April to Easter Day, 21 April.
The liturgy follows the age-old story of Christ as he makes his journey to the Cross and ultimately to his Resurrection and the Cathedral is ‘dressed’ in accordance with the narrative and mood of the story for the day. For the Church the narrative of the dying and rising of Jesus represents ‘new creation’ and hope for the year to come.
The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos will preach on Maundy Thursday,18 April, Good Friday, 19 April and the Easter Day Eucharist, 21 April. The Bishop of Salisbury will preside at the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, 18 April and preach and preside at the Dawn Service on Easter Day, 21 April.
For further details see below:
Palm Sunday 14 April
THE EUCHARIST WITH PROCESSION OF PALMS
from Choristers Green at 10.30
Holy Week begins with the Palm Sunday Eucharist, during which a procession that includes a real donkey, retells Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The service begins on Choristers Green, where the congregation’s palm crosses are blessed, then moves to the West Front, where the Choir sings Psalm 24 ‘The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it, the compass of the world and all who dwell therein….’
Once inside the Cathedral the mood becomes more sombre and reflective as the choir sings a setting of the St Luke Passion created by Director of Music, David Halls.
Canon Edward Probert, Chancellor and Sub Dean preaches
Monday 15 April
from 16.30 to 17.00
Confessions in the Audley Chapel
SERVICE OF RECONCILIATION
On Monday evening Canon Edward Probert, Sub Dean and Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral preaches at a Service of Reconciliation, during which the congregation reflects in preparation for confession. Music is provided by the Cathedral Chamber Choir.
Tuesday 16 April
SARUM TENEBRAE, A SERVICE OF SHADOWS
On Tuesday the Cathedral Choir sings the ancient and dramatic Office of Tenebrae in an imaginative processional service drawing on the Sarum tradition.
Wednesday 17 April
CONCERT: ST MATTHEW PASSION
J.S. Bach’s monumental St Matthew Passion, which recounts the final days of Jesus’ life, forms the concert centrepiece of Salisbury Cathedral’s Holy Week. The full Cathedral Choir (men, girls and adults) is joined by soloist James Oxley (singing the part of the Evangelist) and Neal Davies (who takes the role of Christus). The singers will be accompanied by the period instrument ensemble Florilegium.
David Halls, Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral said:
“The St Matthew Passion is a magnificent piece of music, and Bach just happens to be my favourite composer. Like me he was a choirmaster, directing the Leipzig boys' choir school, and the music comes from a profound knowledge of the liturgy. He understood the language of the church and transformed it into marvellous music.”
The St Matthew Passion will be performed in English and takes place at 19.00 on Wednesday 17 April. Tickets are £10.00-£30.00 and can be purchased online via the Cathedral website or Salisbury Playhouse on 01722 320333, and on the door on the night.
For tickets, visit www.salisburycathedral.org/events
Thursday 18 April
Jesus’ commitment to love, service and forgiveness, even in the face of cruel opposition is the theme of the Maundy Thursday services.
EUCHARIST OF THE CHRISM and RE-AFFIRMATION OF VOWS
On Thursday morning clergy from across the Diocese gather for a special service at which the Bishop blesses oil that will be used in the course of the year by the clergy of the diocese. The clergy and lay ministers come to the Chrism Eucharist to renew their commitment as Christ’s ministers.
from 16.30 to 17.00
Confessions in the Audley Chapel from
EUCHARIST OF THE LAST SUPPER
On the evening of Maundy Thursday the Gloria is sung to celebrate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. During this Eucharist members of the congregation have their feet washed as a sign of fellowship in the service of Christ. This liturgy, which begins in a mood of intimacy and service, ends with the stripping of the altar whilst Bairstow’s setting of the Lamentation is sung by the Cathedral Choir and then a procession to Spire crossing, where the Garden of Repose set stands, representing the Garden of Gethsemane.
WATCH OF THE PASSION
at 21.00 until midnight
Friday 19 April
GOOD FRIDAY DEVOTION
at 12 Noon
The Devotion will be led by the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean. The Devotion, conducted in the Nave, is made up of four parts. Each begins with a hymn, followed by a reading and special prepared reading created by the Dean. Each section ends with a prayer.
LITURGY OF GOOD FRIDAY
at 1.30 pm
This service takes place in the Cathedral Quire and includes St John’s account of the Passion sung to Plainsong and the ritual Veneration of the Cross, recalling Christ’s suffering.
Saturday, 20 April
HOLY SATURDAY (EASTER EVE)
Holy Saturday is a day of watching and waiting in prayer. The Cathedral is stripped bare and the nave seating is removed to provide a space for silent reflection and prayer. Visitors who come the Cathedral on the day are invited to pause and spend a few moments quietly reflecting, and members of the Cathedral’s regular congregation are invited to join a rota of prayer during the day.
The day culminates with Evening Prayer, which is said in the nave
Sunday 21 April
Easter Day is a day of great celebration, marking the resurrection of Christ. The Cathedral, which was stripped bare on Easter Saturday bursts into life, with magnificent Spring floral displays. Worship starts early with a vigil in the small hours and an Easter fire on the West Front. A single candle lights the darkened Cathedral as the congregation moves indoors. This is the time when baptisms and confirmations take place at the William Pye font.
EASTER VIGIL READINGS
The Easter Vigil readings are read in the Chapter House interspersed with the singing of psalms.
The Vigil concludes as the sun rises and those taking part move outside to the West Front where the Easter fire and the Paschal (or Easter) candle, is lit as a sign of Jesus’s resurrection. Led by the candle the congregation enters the still-dark Cathedral to complete the service, which includes baptisms and confirmations
EUCHARIST WITH THE BLESSING OF THE EASTER GARDEN
During the Eucharist the Easter Garden, created by the Cathedral florists around the Symbolic Tomb of Christ, is blessed. There are also magnificent floral displays on the nave plinths and around the William Pye font.
Note the earlier time of Choral Evensong.