The week of services and events begins on Sunday 2nd April 2023
The story of Jesus’ journey through Holy Week and Easter will be told anew at Bradford Cathedral this spring through a programme of services and events starting with services on Palm Sunday on the 2nd April. All are invited to join in person, with the Sunday 10:30am services also streamed online.
At the start of the week, the 10:30am Palm Sunday Eucharist service will feature a dramatic reading of The Passion according to St Matthew, the story of Jesus as he approaches crucifixion, within the celebration of Holy Communion.
This will be followed by a Come and Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion in the afternoon. Singers are invited to gather at 2pm to rehearse. All are invited to the performance which will take place at 5pm.
Alexander Berry, Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, says:
“On Palm Sunday, singers are invited to join Bradford Cathedral Choir for a liturgical performance of Stainer’s Crucifixion.
“John Stainer wrote this iconic work in 1887, and it has been a firm favourite of Anglican choirs for many years.
“This is the first time Stainer’s Crucifixion has been heard in Bradford Cathedral since 2016, and we look forward to welcoming you as we begin our choral journey through Holy Week.”
Later in the week, the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday at 7pm on the 6th April continues to re-tell the story of Jesus’ passion for the world through a moving service in which we re-enact his washing of the disciples’ feet, remember him in the sharing of bread and wine, and then have the opportunity to keep ‘The Watch’ with him at the Altar of Repose until his arrest at midnight.
On Good Friday, the traditional three hours that mark the crucifixion will be kept in two services. At 12noon there will be a sequence of reflections on the cross, drawing on the scriptures and the arts including a reflection on Simon Rice’s artwork The Deposition of Christ, which is currently on display in the Cathedral.
At 1:30pm, a choral service of devotion will meditate on Jesus’ crucifixion through music, silence, the reading of The Passion according to St John, Holy Communion, and the symbolic burying of the cross in St Aidan’s Chapel.
On Holy Saturday from 1pm – 2:30pm there will be a ‘Messy Easter’ service, an exploration of the events of Holy Week and celebrating the joy of Easter, that is suitable for all ages. You will be able to join in with craft activities, Bible stories, songs, drama and food. Spaces are limited for ‘Messy Easter’, so please book your place via the website.
The Revd Ned Lunn, Canon for Intercultural Mission and the Arts, says:
“Come and journey through the interactive story of Holy Week in one afternoon. Join the crowd who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. Sit at the table with Jesus and his friends at their last supper together. Stand at the foot of the cross and hear Jesus’s final words. Then approach the tomb in preparation for the great climax of the story.”
Later on Saturday, the 8th April, the Liturgy of Easter will dramatically retell the story of the resurrection through ancient prophecy, the lighting of a fire, and the sharing of Holy Communion. The Revd Linda Maslen, Leader of Fountains Church, will be preaching at this service.
During this service, there will also be an opportunity to be baptised or to renew baptismal vows. Interested persons are encouraged to get in touch with the cathedral in advance.
Finally, on Easter Day, there will be services at 8am (Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer), Choral Eucharist at 10:30am with the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, leading and preaching, and Choral Evensong at 3:30pm
You are invited to attend any of these services, with some streamed online. More details can be found on the Bradford Cathedral website, where you can also find videos all about Holy Week and Easter, alongside resources available for use by schools.
The Very Revd Andy Bowerman, Dean of Bradford, says:
“At this time of year Christians around the world begin to move, in Holy Week, towards remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus.
“Here at the Cathedral we’ll do the same, starting on Palm Sunday when we remember Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem.
“This is the most significant week in the Christian year, a week which goes from triumph to apparent disaster and back into triumph.
“But not triumph as many would see it: the triumph of one who goes from death to life – who says to all people, at all times in history, there is always hope.
“You’d be very welcome to come and discover that here at Bradford Cathedral during Holy Week this year.”
For more information about Holy Week and Easter at Bradford Cathedral, including the services, events and school resources, please visit bradfordcathedral.org.uk/holy-week-easter