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Ely Cathedral


Ash Wednesday

6 March
'Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin, and be faithful to Christ.' These are the words that Christians hear on Ash Wednesday as their foreheads are marked in ash with the sign of the cross at the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is considered a day of obligation for practising Christians and there are various services during the day for people to receive communion and ashing: 8am, 12.10pm and a Solemn Eucharist at 7.30pm.

Tuesdays during Lent

1pm | Meditation and Music

The musicians of Ely Cathedral contribute a piece of organ music appropriate to the season of Lent. The piece is preceded by a short meditation by one of the Cathedral Clergy exploring the music itself and the theological and spiritual threads which can be drawn from it. The whole meditation lasts about twenty minutes.

Tuesday Evenings during Lent

9pm | Compline in the Lady Chapel

This is a 30 minute service that traditionally ends the monastic day. It is sung to plainsong and a voluntary choir sings two anthems as part of the worship. The candlelit Lady Chapel late in the evening is a very prayerful and evocative space.

Fridays during Lent

12.10pm | Eucharist in the Lady Chapel

A simple service of Holy Communion with a hymn and word of reflection. This will be followed by a soup lunch provided by the Mothers' Union who will be taking donations for their Lent Charity 'The Wisbech Project' in support of a family worker in the market town of Wisbech.

The daily offering of prayer in the Cathedral

Why not make a Lenten discipline of joining perhaps once or even twice a week in the daily round of prayer and praise that is the bedrock of the Cathedral's life - the core purpose of the Cathedral's existence?

Morning Prayer is said at 7.30am | Monday - Saturday
The Eucharist is celebrated at 8am | Monday - Saturday

Both these services are quiet and reflective

Choral Evensong

5.30pm | Monday - Saturday
4pm | Sunday

Possibly the best kept secret of the Cathedral's life!

Why not make a Lenten discipline of attending Evensong once or twice a week? It is an opportunity to enter quietly into the offering of prayer and praise that is the bedrock of the Cathedral's life.

Spiritual MOT

This year we are again offering the opportunity to sign up for a one-to-one meeting with one of the clergy, or a trained lay person, to talk about prayer and faith and the ups and downs of the spiritual life.

For further details view our Lent, Holy Week and Easter booklet.

From Palm Sunday to Easter Day we follow Jesus in the last week of his life. This year we follow St. John's account of the Passion, entering into the experience and meaning of those eight days - from Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, through the desolation of his crucifIxion, to his glorious resurrection

Holy Week Preacher: Canon Victoria Johnson *

Canon Victoria Johnson has been a Residentiary Canon at Ely Cathedral since 2015 and will be the Preacher for Holy Week this year.

Whilst studying theology in Cambridge, she spent a semester studying homiletics at Yale Divinity School with Thomas Troeger. She taught Worship and Preaching to ordinands from across the North West through the University of Chester and is a Tutor and Trustee of the College of Preachers.

She is a writer for the Preacher's Companion 2019 and 2020 and will contribute to a book about Preaching by the Littlemore Group, published later this year. Vicky will lead us through the events of Holy Week beginning on Palm Sunday afternoon and leading to the Preaching of the Cross on Good Friday.

Palm Sunday, 14 April
8:15am - Holy Communion
10:30am - Procession with Palms and Sung Eucharist
We gather on Palace Green and then process into the Cathedral
4:00pm - A Prelude to Holy Week

Monday in Holy Week, 15 April
5:30pm - Evensong
7:30pm - Stations of the Cross

Tuesday in Holy Week, 16 April
5:30pm - Evensong
8:00pm - Compline with address *

Wednesday in Holy Week, 17 April
5:30pm - Evening Prayer
7:30pm - A Sequence of Music and Readings for Holy Week

Maundy Thursday, 18 April
10:30am - Chrism Eucharist with the Blessing of Oils and Renewal of Ordination Vows
5:30pm - Evensong
7:30pm - The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday, Solemn Eucharist * and the Washing of Feet
followed by The Watch of the Passion

Good Friday, 19 April
10am - Children's Activities and Worship
Come and hear the story of Easter, followed by Hot Cross Buns in the Lady Chapel
10:15am - Walk of Witness
The Walk of Witness will start from St Mary's Church followed by Hot Cross Buns in the Lady Chapel
Midday - Preaching of the Passion *
1.30pm - The Proclamation of the Cross and the Liturgy of the Sacrament *
5:30pm - Evensong

Easter Eve, 20 April
5:30pm - Evensong (Lady Chapel)
8:00pm - Easter Vigil, Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist of Easter *

Easter Day, 21 April
8:15am - Holy Communion
10:30am - Orchestral Eucharist
4:00pm - Festal Evensong and Procession