Holy Week and Easter at York Minster 2022

York Minster today announced its services and events for Holy Week and Easter, the most important festival in the calendar for Christians around the world.

The Acting Dean of York, the Revd Canon Michael Smith said:

“This will be the first full schedule of Lent and Easter services at York Minster since 2019.  Everyone at York Minster is looking forward to welcoming people back to the cathedral for worship, prayer and reflection during Holy Week and Easter.”

“For those unable to join us in person, some of the services will be livestreamed so people will be able watch from their homes. Over the next few weeks, our worship helps us to follow the journey of Jesus towards the cross and beyond and that helps us to understand that Jesus walks with us through the joys and sorrows of our lives every day.”

“We will, of course, be holding the people of Ukraine in our prayers this year particularly, praying that their dark days of war and suffering may soon end and that peace with justice may be established, that rebuilding may begin and refugees may return to their homeland.”

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, will be in residence at York Minster during Holy Week, preaching and leading services. Archbishop Stephen said:  “In order to understand the cross you need to stand under it. That’s what we’ll be doing in Holy Week this year: standing under the cross and listening carefully to Jesus.”

“In particular we will focus on Jesus’ words from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” I am very much looking forward to being with you, and it’s good to know that others from across the Diocese of York can join in online.”

Holy Week and Easter Day at York Minster

Palm Sunday – Sunday 10 April

The first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter Day, Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. 

10.30am – Procession and Eucharist for Palm Sunday (Livestream from inside the Minster)

Starting outside in the Minster’s South Piazza, a two donkeys will lead the procession to the West End of the cathedral. The Eucharist will include the Passion Gospel, sung by The Choir of York Minster and the blessing of palm crosses – a reminder of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  This service turns from triumph to sorrow, marking the beginning of Jesus’ journey towards the cross.  Part of the service will be livestreamed from inside the Minster.

4pm – Choral Evensong (This service will be livestreamed)
This service will prepare us for our walk with Christ through Holy Week.

7.30pm – Stainer’s Crucifixion
As a prelude to Holy Week, the Ebor Singers, an associate choir of York Minster, will perform John Stainer’s Crucifixion.  The work incorporates congregational hymns with a recounting of the passion of Christ.

Choral Evensong – Monday 11 to Saturday 16 April
The Choir of York Minster will sing at Evensong daily during Holy Week.

Holy Week Address by the Archbishop of York followed by Compline
This year, the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell will be at York Minster to journey with us through Holy Week. 

Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 April (These services will be livestreamed)
7.30pm – Archbishop’s Address followed by Compline sung by the Ebor Singers
Compline is a beautiful, candlelit form of prayer said at the end of day and traditionally followed by a period of silent contemplation.

7.30pm – Wednesday 12 April (This service will be livestreamed)
Archbishop’s Address followed by Tenebrae
The service of Tenebrae will be sung by the Ebor Singers.  The service will recount the betrayal of Jesus and the events of the passion through music, silence and the gradual extinguishing of candles. 

Maundy Thursday, 14 April

11am – Chrism Eucharist (This service will be livestreamed)
This service takes its name from the Chrismation (anointing).  The Archbishop of York will bless oils for anointing candidates for baptism and confirmation and for healing.  The Archbishop will gather members of the clergy from around the Diocese of York to renew the vows made at their ordinations. 

7pm – Liturgy of Maundy Thursday – Eucharist of the Last Supper
The Eucharist of the Last Supper recalls the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his arrest and trial.  We remember that Jesus called us to love and serve one another through the washing of feet.  As bless bread and wine, we follow his command to proclaim his death until he comes in glory.  The preacher will be the Archbishop of York.

8.30pm until Midnight – Watch
The Watch – a type of vigil – recalls the time Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest, trial and crucifixion.

Good Friday, 15 April
On Good Friday, Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus.
10amThe Liturgy of Good Friday(This service will be livestreamed)
A simple service in which we gather at the foot of the cross to pray, with readings and music.

12noon until 3pmThe Three Hours’ Devotion(Livestreamed at 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm)
Three Hours Devotion is a service of meditation, music and prayers with periods of silence for reflection. The Archbishop of York will preach at this service alongside a performance of Via Crucis, a devotion for Passiontide with prayers by Eric Milner-White and music for organ Philip Moore, played by Benjamin Morris.

Easter Eve, Saturday 16 April

8pm – The Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter and Confirmations
This Eucharist moves from darkness to light. We recall God’s saving actions through time, culminating in the Resurrection in the light of the first Easter Day. The Easter Vigil marks the end of the emptiness of Holy Saturday, and leads into the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. During this service a number of candidates will reaffirm their faith through confirmation. The Archbishop of York will preach and preside at this service.
Easter Day, Sunday 17 April
On Easter Day, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.
8am – Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer
A simple said service in the traditional language of the Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible.
10.00am – Choral Matins on Easter Day
This service will follow the pattern of Matins from the Book of Common Prayer, with sung psalms, canticles and an anthem.
11.00am – Festal Eucharist on Easter Day (This service will be livestreamed)
We greet the risen Lord with joy, proclaiming Alleluia, Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! The Archbishop of York will preach and preside.
4.00pm – Festal Evensong – (This service will be livestreamed)
A great day of rejoicing culminates in an uplifting service of Choral Evensong.

York Minster’s Easter Garden – Sunday 10 April until Sunday 5 June
A much-loved tradition at York Minster, the Easter 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.   The Easter Garden will be in the South Transept from Palm Sunday until the Feast of Pentecost.

Services are open to all, with no booking required. 

Events for Children and Families at York Minster

Experience Easter Trail – Monday 11 until Sunday 24 April
Collect an Experience Easter Trail and explore six interactive stops around the cathedral to learn more about the Easter story.  The stops include the chance to decorate a paper spring flower to take home inspired by the Minster’s Easter Garden.
The trail is suitable for all ages, for both adults and children, and is free with general admission. Copies can be collected at the admission desks and will be included in our Little Explorer Backpacks, which help young explorers discover stories and fun facts about the cathedral.
NEW!! Saturday Mornings at York Minster starting on Saturday 16 April, 10am – 10.45am
Join our new sessions for families – Saturday Mornings at York Minster – and get hands on creating a spring paper flower inspired by the cathedral’s Easter garden.
The new sessions will run throughout the year and explore the seasons in the Christian calendar, with different interactive opportunities each time including craft workshops, sensory activities, music and worship.
For this Easter themed event, families are invited to create a paper flower inspired by the Minster’s Easter garden. The session will also include a short Stations of the Cross service for families in Dean’s Park.
Families are invited to come at any time during the 45 minute event, which starts at 10.00am, and stay for as long or as little as they like.
Future dates and seasonal themes for Saturday Mornings at York Minster in 2022 include:
Saturday 4 June – Jubilee
Saturday 10 September – Harvest
Saturday 5 November – Remembering
Saturday 3 December – Advent.