Southwell Minster once again provides a spectacular venue for the Easter Services, beginning with Passiontide Sunday on 6th April. And whether you want to join the Palm Sunday procession, experience Christ’s final journey through the Stations of the Cross performed by young people, hear a sermon from Dr John Moses, sing loudly or sit quietly – or perhaps wander round the Easter Garden…. there is something for everybody during Holy Week and Easter, including a full English breakfast after the Easter Sunday service!
‘Suffering and Salvation’ is the title of the Passiontide Service on 6th April at 6.30pm. Canon Precentor Jacqui Jones asks us to ‘join with the Cathedral choir and clergy and follow Christ on His solitary journey with stark words and stupendous music.’ She says: “We will be using both the Nave and the Quire, encouraging the congregation to move with us in candlelight and letting the Minster itself speak powerfully to those who come with their faith as well as those who come with their doubts. We hope this offering of prayer, words and music may assist other congregations from the Diocese who do not have the resources to have an evening service as well as individuals who wish to join us on the way.”
Palm Sunday on 13th April begins at 10.30am with a procession of the Minster congregation who join with parishioners from Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church in Southwell and members of the Catholic Church in Calverton. They will be singing and praying for the community, accompanied by ‘Peter’ the donkey and will walk around the Minster grounds with Palm Crosses and fronds before entering the cathedral for a sung Passion with the Minster Chorale. Canon Precentor Jacqui Jones says: “Peter has been part of the Palm Sunday procession for many years and we were very sad when he couldn’t make it last year because of the snow. After the service I walk him through the Minster for his reward of a bunch of carrots!”
On Good Friday at 9.30am the Stations of the Cross will be performed in the Minster by young adults as they take a journey representing the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. All ages are encouraged to engage with this powerful presentation which is 40 minutes long with an opportunity to meet afterwards in the hall for refreshments. From 12noon – 1.30pm Dr John Moses is preaching, interspersed with hymns and prayer in the nave. At 1.30pm The Good Friday Liturgy takes place in the Quire with the Cathedral Choir, then at 5.45pm it’s Evensong, and the Diocesan Confirmation Service – ‘The Fire and the Stone’ when Choristers will be among those confirmed, experiencing some of the symbols surrounding Easter Day.
Easter Day begins at 6am outside the Cathedral with the Easter Fire. Jacqui invites us to: “Proclaim the Resurrection as we follow the massive Easter Candle into the building. Listen to the ancient Exultet being sung – the triumphant hymn of praise and exultation. Join in with the Canticles which speak of the story of God’s salvation of his people. Renew your baptismal vows. Discover the Easter garden: blessed at this service, and finally, when we have moved through the Cathedral, receive at the High altar the sacrament of God’s Presence in bread and wine, and afterwards the opportunity of a full cooked breakfast at Sacrista by the Lay Clerks…”
The cathedral also plays host to Lunchtimes in the Cathedral during Holy Week:
from Monday 14th April – Thursday 17th April.
Entitled ‘God’s Art of Living’ they take place from 12.15 – 1pm and are a time of music, words and reflection in the Quire.
Following on from last year’s successful themed presentations, subjects with which most of us engage in our daily lives will be explored with suggestions of a divine perspective:
Monday – Meeting; Tuesday – Working; Wednesday – Forgiving;
Thursday – Eating. Homemade soup will be offered from 11.45am.
For more information on these and other services please contact the Minster Office 01636 812649.