Holy Week and Easter Period

29th March 2023

Alongside daily worship, there is music, events, family trails, egg hunts and contemplative exhibitions.

Holy Week and Easter at Cathedrals across the Country.

More about how Cathedrals are preparing for the Holy Week can be found here.

You can find details on individual cathedrals’ websites. Do check ahead.

York Minster is preparing to welcome His Majesty The King for the first Maundy service of his new reign accompanied by Her Majesty The Queen Consort.

74 men and 74 women (signifying the age of the Monarch) selected from Church of England dioceses across the country, and Anglican and Ecumenical partners across the UK, will receive the Maundy, a gift from The King, to thank them for their outstanding Christian service and for making a difference to the lives of people in their local communities.

The Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington:

“We are honoured that His Majesty has chosen York Minster to be his cathedral church for the first Maundy Service of his reign. Taking place in Holy Week, this historic service symbolises, humility, care, kindness and appreciation of others. The King’s Maundy gift will be a moment of celebration and thanksgiving for 148 exceptional people who have made an impact in their communities.”

The late Queen distributed the Royal Maundy at York Minster on two occasions: first on 30 March 1972 and again on 5 April 2012, during her Diamond Jubilee Year.

Jesus and his disciples are crafted from broken china, the joins gilded in gold leaf in an interpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic painting of The Last Supper which will go on display in Ely Cathedral this week.

The thirteen busts are all in simplified form and the idea of creating art from broken materials began after her studio was flooded by rain, following which she rediscovered some broken crockery in boxes.

Holy Week and Easter Period

Silvy explained:

“It made me wonder about the final meals that might have been eaten on them. I then began thinking about the Last Supper, and ideas about how people can be broken by events as they go through life and also how they can be remade in new forms.”

A hater of waste, Silvy has continued to work with objects that have passed their function, whether it is smashed china, broken jewellery, feathers or other things destined for landfill. She finds beauty in objects and subject matter that is easily overlooked. This is also shown in her paintings and photographs. Her love of pattern is the common thread that runs through her work.

The Last Supper will be on display in the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral from 31 March to 27 April 2023 and has been designed in the round after Goya’s painting in the Oratorio de Santa Cueva in Cadiz.

Entry to the exhibition is included in the entry ticket or when using a Cathedral pass.

Work has started on the Easter Garden at Salisbury Cathedral which will be created in front of the visitor entrance.

Three 5ft wooden crosses made by the Cathedral’s ecclesiastical carpenter Richard Pike and a tomb hewn from a gigantic block of Chicksgrove stone weighing around eight tons!! will be craned into place, after which the award-winning horticulturalist and designer Andy Mcindoe will plant out the area with Mediterranean plants reminiscent of the landscape of Jesus’ story.

Salisbury Cathedral has over 30 services taking place over a period of seven days which will tell the story of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Death and the Cathedral will be ‘dressed’ accordingly.

On Easter Saturday the Cathedral will be stripped bare, with candle lit for meditation and reflection – by contrast on Easter Sunday it will burst into colour with wonderful arrangements created by the Cathedral Flower Arrangers as it celebrates the Resurrection.

Pictured here is the Crucifix by Marzia Colonna that will stand above the high Altar during this period.

Holy Week and Easter Period - Salisbury Cathedral


Hereford Cathedral Choir will be joined by a distinguished line-up of soloists and accompanied by the period-instrument orchestra Marches Baroque for its performance of J S Bach’s St John Passion during Holy Week.

You can find a series of videos of some of the musicians discussing St John Passion on the cathedral’s YouTube channel, with more to be released in the coming week.

The cathedral choir’s annual Holy Week performances of Bach’s Passions have become a fixture in Hereford’s musical diary in recent years, along with its biennial performances of his Christmas Oratorio.

Geraint Bowen, Director of Music at the cathedral, and conductor of the performance, said:

“The forces which we are using – our cathedral choir and a small orchestra playing on period instruments – produce a sound which would have been familiar to listeners in Bach’s time, and which bring out the intensely dramatic qualities of this much-loved work, first performed in Leipzig almost 299 years ago. It is always inspiring to see how our choristers – some of whom are as young as 8 – engage with this wonderful music. I’m looking forward to it immensely.”

The soloists joining the cathedral choir are David de Winter (Evangelist, tenor), Gareth Brynmor John (Christus), Rebecca Hardwick (soprano), Martha McLorinan (mezzo-soprano) and Malachy Frame (bass).

St John Passion, Tues 4 April – tickets £25 – £10 and are available to purchase online by clicking here or from the Cathedral Shop either in person or on the phone (01432 374 210).