from St Anne's

Services for Holy Week, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday 2023

Belfast Cathedral - Services for Holy Week, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday 2023

This year Holy Week begins on Monday 3rd April and continues through to Good Friday 7th, Holy Saturday 8th and Easter Sunday 9th April.

Holy Week Morning Services 9 to 9.20am

In Holy Week this year we will start each weekday with a service of Morning Prayers held in the beautiful Chapel of the Holy Spirit from 9 to 9.20am. We hope that those who are making their way to work, or for other reasons are in the city centre, will make this simple daily service part of their Holy Week experience.

During the week we will welcome two significant speakers to our Holy Week Services:  the Reverend Ron Elsdon a member of our cathedral clergy team, and the Right Reverend Dr David Bruce who was for two years Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and a former director of Scripture Union. Both will help us make the journey through Jesus’ final days until his crucifixion on Good Friday.

Monday to Wednesday Lunchtime Services 1 - 1.40pm Chapel of Unity

So from Monday 3rd to Wednesday 5th all are invited to join us for our lunchtime Service of the Word, held from 1-1.40pm in the Chapel of Unity. Each day the Reverend Ron Elsdon will lead us through a Holy Week Series of Reflections to consider his chosen topic:  'Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven'. If you have time you will also have the opportunity to stay for a cup of tea or coffee and refreshments and a chance to consider what Ron has shared.

Maundy Thursday - 6th April

On Maundy Thursday morning, the Bishop of Connor will gather all the clergy of Connor Diocese at our cathedral to share in a Service of Rededication and Recommitment at to the promises which each made at their ordination.

At 7.30pm on Maundy Thursday, 6th April for our evening Service of Holy Communion the Reverend Ron Elsdon will once again be our preacher. This service commemorates the time when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and then the Last Passover Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples in the Upper Room. In this powerful and moving service Ron will conclude his series of reflections in preparation for Good Friday.

Good Friday - 7th April

On Friday 7th April, we shall welcome the Very Reverend Dr David Bruce to the powerful three hour service reflecting on the Seven Final Words of Jesus, spoken from the cross. Starting at 12 noon, taking us through to 3pm, and recalling Jesus’ final hours on the cross of Calvary, David Bruce will unpack for us what these seven sayings mean for him, and what they have to say to our contemporary world. As in previous years we shall be joined during the middle hour, from 1-2pm, by members of the cathedral’s Past Choristers Association, those who represent previous generations of our cathedral’s choristers who will lead us in our singing.

For some this is a service to which they can give the full three hours. Other people will find it meaningful to slip into a cathedral seat for one of the hours or even for just a few minutes. We hope that many people will take this opportunity to hear a meaningful preacher and thinker sharing with us all his personal consideration of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Holy Saturday - 8th April

At 8.00pm on Holy Saturday, 8th April, you are invited to share in the dramatic service of Easter Vigil. This service begins on the cathedral steps as dusk falls and with the lighting of the Easter Fire, from which the Pascal Candle is lit. Then as we make our way from the Baptistery to the cathedral nave, we shall retell the biblical accounts of how God has rescued his peoples across the span of history, until we remake our own baptismal promises within the drama of Christ’s resurrection retold.

EASTER DAY - Sunday 9th April

On Easter Day, Sunday 9th April, we will come together to celebrate in music, scripture and reflection that Christ has risen from the tomb, and death has no more power in our world. With our 11am Choral Eucharist for Easter Day, and 3.30pm Evensong we look forward to welcoming Hayley Howe who will be our Easter Day soloist with Stephen Hamill as our organist for the day.

We hope that cathedral parishioners, visitors and tourists to our city will find that some, or all of our Holy Week and Easter Services will give opportunity to share powerfully in the journey which Jesus made with his disciples through the streets of the Jerusalem, to the cross of Calvary and in Easter joy two thousand years ago.