Holy Week and Easter Events 2017 | Salisbury Cathedral

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Holy Week and Easter Events 2017

The Holy Week and Easter period is the most important period in the church year, with over thirty services and events...

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Holy Week and Easter Events 2017

Posted By : Marie Thomas Thursday 9th March 2017

The Holy Week and Easter period is the most important period in the church year, with over thirty services and events taking place from Palm Sunday, 9 April to Easter Sunday, 16 April.


In addition to worship there are plenty of activities for families including an Easter Trail for children called If Easter Could Speak. Trail maps are available from Friday 7 April – Sunday 23 April at the entrance to the Cathedral (except during services) and children follow a trail around special displays and materials that explore what Easter is about.


There’s also an exhibition in the South Cloisters. Local artist Eleanor Bartlett’s site specific installation, Requiem, comprises twenty-two wax covered canvases arranged at varying angles in a line along the floor of the Cloister, reminiscent of memorial slabs against a wall in a mason’s yard. Some of the wax for the tablets was sourced from spent candles used during the Cathedral’s much loved Darkness to Light processional service. Two large and powerful tar panels complete the narrative. Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral’s Visual Arts Advisor, curates the exhibition, which is supported by the Arts Council.


There are two family drop-in workshops, themed around Eleanor’s work. Talking Textures on Wednesday 19 April between 10:00 – 12:00 or 13:00 – 15:00 in the North Transept will involve crayon rubbing to collect textures from the Cathedral floor out of which participants will create a personalised mixed media collage. All materials are provided and the workshops are free.



In the Morning Chapel an unique exhibition is on display until 23 April. The Know Your Place Exhibition uses images from archives, museums and heritage collections across the West of England to give a unique insight into the history and identity of the places where we live, work and visit every day.

This interactive exhibition funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund is touring to twelve venues across the region. The exhibition is available to visit daily except during key services.



A special performance of The Devil’s Passion takes place at 19.00 on Wednesday, 12 April in the Cathedral’s North Transept. This solo show by acclaimed playwright and actor Justin Butcher is set in 33 AD. Jesus enters Jerusalem to fulfil his destiny. Satan ascends from Hell to stop him. A battle begins – for the soul of humanity. Framed satirically against a ‘War on Terror’ backdrop of heightened security, fear and surveillance, with Satan as a self-styled Intelligence Chief fighting ‘extremism’ in the Middle East in defence of our ‘freedoms’, the last days of Christ are presented as a counter-terrorism operation by diabolical security forces. The Devil’s Passion offers a radically fresh perspective on the timeless narrative and an audacious hell’s-eye view of the Passion from a master storyteller.


Holy Week and Easter services follow the story of Christ as he makes his journey to the Cross and ultimately to his Resurrection. It is a journey that moves from the darkness of doubt to the joy of the resurrection, as Canon Tom Clammer, the Cathedral’s Precentor, explains:

“Christ’s moving and dramatic story sits at the heart of what we, as Christians, believe and that belief is echoed in the words we speak, the music we sing and the appearance of the Cathedral itself. Our worship during Holy Week and Easter takes us through the whole range of emotions, culminating in our celebrations on Easter Day.

“In this period we seek to bring people of all ages together to be ready to celebrate new life. There is a special family service and, as ever, Farmer Giles’ donkey will be playing his part, and all the adult services that take place as the Holy Week and Easter story unfolds, including the marvellous Dawn Liturgy on Easter morning  at 05.00 when, in a blaze of celebration, we rejoice in Christ's resurrection."




The Liturgy of Palm Sunday at 10.30 begins with the Palm Procession from Choristers’ Green into the Cathedral. Those attending should assemble on Choristers’ Green at 10.15.


MONDAY 10 April
Confessions will be heard in the Audley Chapel at 16.30 and Salisbury Cathedral’s Chamber Choir sing the Service of Reconciliation: Healing the Memories at 19.30  


The Devotion at 19.30 takes the form of Tenebrae: A Service of Shadows with music by Poulenc


Priests from across the diocese come together at the Cathedral for the Eucharist of the Chrism and Re-affirmation of Vows at 11.00. The Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury presides, preaches the sermon, and blesses oil which will be used in the course of the year by the clergy of the diocese as they minister to the sick or prepare their people for Christian discipleship.

Choral Evensong is at 17.30 followed by the Eucharist of the Last Supper – The Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne preaches and Canon Dr Robert Titley, Cathedral Treasurer, presides. The day ends with the Watch of the Passion at 21.00 in the Trinity Chapel.


The Good Friday Family Service at 10.00 is followed at 12.00 by the Good Friday Devotion and The Liturgy of Good Friday in the Quire at 13.30. 

Worship begins at 04.00 on Easter Day with Easter Vigil Readings in the Chapter House, and the Easter Liturgy at 05.00. Breakfast will be served after the service - for tickets ring 01794 340204 

At 10.30am there’s a Eucharist and Blessing of the Easter Garden and at 15.30, Festal Evensong with homily at which Canon Edward Probert, Cathedral Chancellor and Sub-Dean preaches.


For details of all services during Holy Week and Easter go to the Salisbury Cathedral website and check the monthly music scheme on Salisbury Cathedral website.


For any further information contact Marie Thomas on 01722 555148 or m.thomas@salcath.co.uk