Holy Week and Easter at Durham Cathedral

From 24 March, Palm Sunday, we are inviting people to be part of the most important Christian festival of the year with a programme of special services and events.

As we move into Holy Week which runs from Palm Sunday (24 March) to Easter Sunday (31 March) it is a time when Christians journey through the Easter story and commemorate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

On the upcoming week the Dean of Durham, The Very Revd Dr Philip Plyming said:

"Holy Week at Durham Cathedral is a wonderful experience and an unforgettable way to recall and celebrate the world-changing events of Jesus’ death and resurrection."

He continued,

"We welcome people who are committed in their faith and those who are exploring and want to find our more. As well as our services and events, the cathedral will be open throughout the week for people to visit and spend time in reflection and prayer, in line with generations of people who have celebrated Easter in this place."

The main Palm Sunday service is at 10.30am and includes a procession from Palace Green into the cathedral, echoing Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. Those who join the congregation will be given a palm cross as a reminder of Christ’s victory over death on the cross

On Tuesday of Holy Week, 26 March at 7pm, Durham Cathedral Choir and the Royal Northern Sinfonia will perform Bach’s St John Passion, a powerful and moving account of Jesus’ last hours. Tickets start at £5 and can be bought here.

The Maundy Thursday evening service starts at 7.30pm and recalls the events of Jesus’ last evening, including the Last Supper and the washing of the disciples’ feet, a scene which the Dean will recall by washing the feet of members of the community.

Good Friday, 29 March, recalls Jesus’ death on the cross. From 12noon the cathedral hosts two services which commemorate the three hours Jesus hung on the cross. Both services include readings, music, silence and prayer and are times of deep reflection and contemplation.

Holy Week culminates on Easter Sunday, 31 March, with five services which celebrate Jesus rising from the grave. The day begins at dawn with a 5am service around a fire in the cloisters, during which people can journey from darkness into light as the sun rises with music and prayer as well as affirmations of faith. The celebrations continue throughout the day with services at 8, 10, 11.30am and 3.30pm.

Images from Holy Week services and Easter day