Worship and prayers for Holy Week and Easter at York Minster, the Mother Church of the Diocese of York, will be entirely digital for the first time this year – a landmark in the Minster’s 800 year history.
Having closed to the public on 17 March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Minster’s Dean and clergy have since been releasing daily reflections and prayers online, via the cathedral’s website and social media channels.
Next week, a new series of audio services will be released to mark some of the most important days in the Christian calendar - Palm Sunday (5 April), Maundy Thursday (9 April), Good Friday (10 April), Easter Eve (11 April) and Easter Day (12 April).
The mini-services, lasting around 15-20 minutes, will include readings, prayers and music recorded by the York Minster Choir both in late March and on earlier CDs, and a special video message from the Dean of York, Dr Jonathan Frost, for Easter Day.
The Dean of York, the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost said: “Confined to our homes as we seek to stay safe, it is to box-sets or drama series to which many of us will turn. A good story can draw us in, reframe our perspective and open up new horizons.
“The true story of the last days of Jesus of Nazareth can do the same. Once again, we are invited to enter into the story of Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter. It’s all there, inviting us in: love and betrayal; politics and broken dreams; a vision to live and to die for.
“May you find hope in the reflections, meditations stories and music offered for Holy Week and Easter via the York Minster website. It is my prayer that you find confidence, fresh perspective and, most of all, your unique place within the story, and heart, of Jesus.”
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, 5 April, and concludes with Easter Day on Sunday 12 April.
The York Minster resources will complement wider activity by the Archbishop of York and the Church of England.
The Church of England will broadcast national services for Palm Sunday and Easter Day via its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland.
On Palm Sunday the bishops of Hull, Selby and Whitby will again be offering short prayers at 12noon, 4pm and 8pm, via the Diocese of York’s social media channels.
On Maundy Thursday (9 April) at 11am, the Archbishop of York and Bishops of the Diocese of York, will offer a short online service including renewal of vows for lay ministers, deacons and priests, and a renewal of commitment and baptismal vows for all the faithful. All are welcome to join via Facebook (facebook.com/dioceseofyork), Twitter (twitter.com/dioceseofyork) or Vimeo (vimeo.com/dioceseofyork). Recordings of these services will be available for people to catch up later if they miss the service.
In addition to the programme for Holy Week and Easter, a range of resources including prayers are available for daily use from both the York Minster and Church of England websites.
For full details about York Minster’s digital programme for Holy Week and Easter Day, visit www.yorkminster.org/Whats-On