As Lent begins, York Minster has announced its special services leading up to Easter. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on March 29. Full details below.
Stations of the Cross
Every Friday from Feb 20 till Mar 27
Echoing Jesus’ journey to crucifixion and the 14 stops he made on his way, Stations of the Cross will take place in the Minster on Fridays during Lent. A stop is made at one of 14 stations beginning in the North Transept and ending in the South Transept.
At each station there will be a Bible reading narrating the part of the Passion story, followed by reflection, silence and a short prayer. A hymn will be sung while moving from one station to the next.
Palm Sunday – Eucharist Service
Sun Mar 29: 9.45am gather at St Helen’s Square; 10am procession begins
Recalling Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, the Palm Sunday Procession will depart from St Helen’s Square with a donkey leading the short walk to the Minster.
Palm crosses will be blessed and distributed and carried in procession into the Minster.
Maunday Thursday – Chrism Eucharist – Eucharist of the Last Supper – Vigil
Thurs Apr 2
11am The Chrism Eucharist takes its name from Chrismation (anointing) and this is the annual service at which the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, blesses oils for anointing candidates for baptism, confirmation and for healing.
The Archbishop will gather members of the clergy from around the Diocese to renew their vows. In addition, the Archbishop will wash the feet of 12 people, commemorating Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper.
7pm The Eucharist of the Last Supper and vigil until midnight. This is a Holy Communion service during which people will have their feet washed.
At the end of the service the consecrated bread and wine will be taken in procession to St John’s Chapel to be place on the altar.
A vigil will be kept until midnight remembering the time Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane – the place where he was later arrested before his trial and crucifixion.
Good Friday: Liturgy of Good Friday – Stations of the Cross for Families – Three Hours Devotion
Fri Apr 3
10am The Liturgy of Good Friday. This service has several parts: the reading of passages from the Bible; singing of the Passion; the processing of a large wooden cross and, prayers for the world.
11.30am Stations of the Cross for Families. Dean’s Park will be the location for this special family event.
Noon-3pm Three Hours Devotion. Service of meditation, hymn and prayers with periods of silence for reflection.
Easter Eve: Outdoor Baptisms – Easter Liturgy followed by Baptisms in the Crypt
Sat April 4
2.30pm Outdoor Baptisms conducted by the Archbishop of York. The baptisms will take place in a pool specially erected for the occasion on the Minster’s South Piazza.
8.30pm Easter Liturgy Service with the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle. Conducted in darkness, the service will consist of readings telling the story of the liberation from slavery in Egypt of the ancient Israelites, followed by the lighting of the Paschal Candle.
Immediately following the Easter Liturgy Service, there will be a procession from the Nave to the Crypt for baptisms and confirmation for candidates associated with the Minster.
Easter Day: Solemn Eucharist – Choral Matins – Solemn Evensong
Sat April 4
10am The Solemn Eucharist presided over by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. This is the Church’s great celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
11.45am Celebrate the joy of Easter with Choral Matins.
4pm The Minster’s celebration of Easter Day concludes with Solemn Evensong.
York Minster’s Easter Garden
A key part of the Minster’s Lent and Easter tradition is the Easter Garden. Around five metres long, the garden depicts key scenes from the Passion.
Starting on Palm Sunday with just the tomb and three crosses, new elements will be added as the Easter story unfolds including palm branches, 30 pieces of silver (Judas Iscariot’s reward for his betrayal of Jesus), a crown of thorns and three nails and a length of material representing Jesus’ burial cloth.
During the Easter Vigil on Easter Eve, the tomb will be opened and illuminated and the garden festooned with flowers to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.
The garden will be blessed by the Archbishop of York during the vigil.
The Easter Garden will be in the North Transept under the Five Sisters Window from Palm Sunday until the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, May 24.