Holy week and Easter 2021...
As we approach Holy Week and Easter, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, is preparing to offer a mix of online and in person services and events to meet people’s needs and the current restrictions as we mark this important time of the Christian year. For details of how to attend services (please note that pre-booking is required) or how to access them online, please visit the Cathedral website https://stedscathedral.org/worship
“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,” comments the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury. “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.”
Palm Sunday, 28 March, marks the start of Holy Week. Although the traditional Palm Sunday procession will not be possible this year, palm crosses will be distributed. The 11 am Choral Eucharist will include a dramatised reading of the Passion Narrative and music will include the Messe Cum Jubilo by Maurice Duruflé. On the same day Choral Evensong is at 3.30 pm with a service of Vespers at 7 pm, sung by the Cathedral’s Lay Clerks.
Then from Monday 29 March to Wednesday 31 March each day Sung Vespers takes place at 5.30 pm and Sung Compline at 7 pm including an address by the Reverend John Summers, Chaplain at Trinity College, Cambridge.
On Maundy Thursday, 1 April, the main service is the Mass of the Last Supper, starting at 7 pm, followed by a vigil until midnight. On Good Friday, although the usual Walk of Witness cannot take place, there is a rich day a services: a children’s service at 10 am, Good Friday reflection and music from 12 noon to 2 pm, Good Friday Liturgy at 2 pm and a music-based Meditation led by the Edmund Consort at 7 pm.
Easter Day, Sunday 4 April, will be celebrated with four services, the first one starting at 6 am. The 8 am service is followed by the main Festal Eucharist at 11 am at which the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Right Reverend Martin Seeley, will preach. The Cathedral choristers will sing at this service as well as at Choral Evensong at 3.30 pm. During this period, the Cathedral is open for personal prayer and worship only. The Cathedral Shop and Pilgrims’ Kitchen will re-open on 12 April. The hope is to re-open for visitors from 17 May.
Full details of all services, both online and in the building, and other events, please visit https://stedscathedral.org/events/holy-week-and-easter