Easter 2021

31st March 2021

Lincoln is lighting up for Holy Week, bathing its historic building in the colours of the passion and the resurrection, Canterbury and Manchester Cathedrals are headlining the BBC’s Easter programming this year, Bury St Eds Cathedral has helped create music for all churches in its diocese, Norwich Cathedral is preparing to start and end an Easter Day service outside to allow for some congregational singing under the latest Government guidelines, and Gloucester Cathedral is sharing how to create an Easter Garden online.

What is happening for Easter 2021

Lincoln turned red on Palm Sunday and announced a special lighting scheme throughout the week ending with gold on Easter Day to celebrate the transforming effect of the resurrection and the hope offered by new life.

On Easter Day BBC Radio 3 will be live from Manchester Cathedral for a Festal Choral Evensong at 3pm while BBC Radio 4 will broadcast live from Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury for a choral Eucharist at 8.10 and again at 10am on BBC 1.

Lincoln Cathedral lights up for Easter 2021

St Edmundsbury Cathedral has produced a set of music videos to resource churches in its Diocese for a second Easter in lockdown. Working with The InHarmony Project, set up in 2016 to help churches develop music in worship, it has now produced videos of hymns, worship songs and anthems, working with Cantus Firmus Trust.

It has also prepared a mix of online and in person services and events and you can find out how to attend services – pre-booking required –
or how to access them online here.

The Dean of St Edmundsbury, the Very Revd Joe Hawes said:

“The blend of joy at being back in the building to mark the events which define our faith, the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is challenged by our requirement to keep each other safe by avoiding much of the physicality of how we observe Holy Week.

“So no foot washing, no anointing, physical distance maintained and numbers limited. We keep these holy days with longing for the day when all will be restored,‘  he added.

Throughout Holy Week, Gloucester is live streaming a number of services including a pre-recorded service which focuses on how to make your own Easter garden and has a programme of online family craft and learning activities.

Birmingham is offering a mix of congregational worship and online worship for Holy week and Easter and you can find out more here including how to book.

Easter 2021 - Birmingham Cathedral

Actor Charlie Hardwick, best known for her roles in Emmerdale and Ackley Bridge, kickstarted Durham’s online offering for Holy Week recording poetry by Paul Claudel, as part of a performance of Marcel Dupré’s great organ work ‘Le Chemin de la Croix’ for Passion Sunday.

The performance was part of Durham Cathedral’s wider digital services for Holy Week and Easter, which includes evening compline services, and special services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some services are accompanied by music from Durham Cathedral Choir and contain contributions from a mixture of Durham Cathedral clergy and Archdeacons and Bishops from across the North East.

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said:

“We are inviting people all over the world to join us online to mark the holiest week of the Christian year…. as we walk the way of the cross with Our Lord, stand at the foot of his cross, and celebrate his glorious resurrection.

“We are thrilled to have the involvement of clergy from different communities in the region to enrich our worship schedule this year. It was important to have this representation, given many of the smaller churches in the diocese are presently closed.

“Everyone is welcome to join in with worship online, whether or not you usually worship at the cathedral. Jesus’ love is inclusive and universal and it is our duty to share that message,” he added.

Find all service timings on the cathedral’s website. The services are either pre-recorded and broadcast to the cathedral’s Facebook and Youtube channels or live-streamed via the cathedral’s Facebook page. It is hoped that a small congregation may be permitted at the two services of Sung Eucharist on Easter Day (9.30am and 11.30am). If so, a limited number of tickets will be allocated by ballot to members of the cathedral’s community

York Minster has taken its services online for Holy Week and Easter including an online Stations of the Cross created by students from St Peter’s School, York. Each station will be accompanied by a Bible reading, a piece of music, a short reflection, and a prayer

To access Stations of the Cross online each Friday go to www.yorkminster.org.

The Dean of York, the Rt Revd Dr Jonathan Frost said:

“In Holy Week, we walk with Jesus through the Passion story: from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; to his trial, and execution, commemorated on Good Friday; through the grief and silence of Holy Saturday, to the utter joy of the resurrection on Easter Day. We bear witness to the love of God, which overcomes even death itself, and will never abandon us – love which leads to life in its fullest sense. This is our story! This is our song!”

Services and events inside the Minster will be facilitated in accordance with the Minster’s strict Covid-security measures, with social distancing, hand sanitising, a one-way system, cleaning of all surfaces between visits and no more than 75 people in the cathedral at any one time. Pre-booking for the main Easter services is essential.

Norwich’s Canon Precentor, Aidan Platten will light the Easter Fire on his own again this year and you can find all Norwich’s Easter services here.

Easter 2021 - Norwich Cathedral

Bradford Cathedral re-opened for congregations on Palm Sunday. And you can find all its Holy Week and Easter offerings here.

At Peterborough Cathedral, all the services during Holy Week will be online via the Cathedral’s Facebook page or YouTube channels.

All Holy Week services are online with no congregation. There are two occasions for public worship at the Cathedral on Easter Sunday.
Find out more.

Truro Cathedral too is offering some congregational services and some live streamed only choral.

Truro’s Easter Day is here.

And Chichester has announced a series of online reflections for Holy Week from the Revd Canon Dr Roland Riem, Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean of Winchester Cathedral. They are based on connecting the Passion story with the poetry of R S Thomas and comprise music and readings by members of the Cathedral Community.

You can also find behind the scene interviews with cathedral staff and volunteers on social media exploring how the Cathedral prepares for Holy Week and Easter and some special recordings directed by Charles Harrison, Organist and Master of the Choristers.

To find out more just click this link.

All our cathedrals are offering digital programmes for Easter to meet people’s needs and the current restrictions as we mark this important time of the Christian year.