Observing the Season: Ash Wednesday & Holy Week

Ash Wednesday
March 5, 2014

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. – Genesis 3:19

The Cathedral observes the first day of Lent with the liturgies of the Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes at four services throughout the day.

Spoken services are offered in the intimacy of the Cathedral’s chapels of St. Martin and St. James in the morning. At the afternoon and evening services, celebrated at the High Altar, the Cathedral Choristers and the Cathedral Choir offer contemplative music befitting this solemn occasion, including the other-worldly Allegri Miserere at 7 pm.

The Holy Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes
7:30 AM St. Martin’s Chapel (spoken)
8:30 AM St. James’ Chapel (spoken)
12:15 PM High Altar, seating in Great Choir
The Cathedral Choristers offer music of Buxtehude and Samuel S. Wesley.
7:00 PM High Altar, seating in Great Choir
The Cathedral Choir offers music of Farrant, Dawson and Allegri.

Holy Week
April 13-20, 2014

Palm Sunday
April 13
The Palm Sunday liturgy takes participants on a journey from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through the Passion story of his betrayal, persecution and death as experienced through processions, readings and music.

9 AM The Blessing of the Palms & Holy Eucharist (Crossing)
11 AM The Blessing of the Palms & Holy Eucharist (Crossing)
4 PM Choral Evensong (Great Choir)

Holy Monday and Holy Wednesday
April 14 and April 16
In observance of Holy Week, and in addition to the regular weekday service schedule, the Cathedral offers a meditative, spoken Eucharist at 7 PM in St. Martin’s Chapel.

8 AM Morning Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
12:15 PM Holy Eucharist (St. Martin’s)
5 PM Evening Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
7 PM Holy Eucharist & Meditation (St. Martin’s)

Holy Tuesday
April 15
On this special day in the life of the Church, the clergy of the Diocese of New York gather to reaffirm their ordination vows and observe the consecration of sacramental chrism oil. All are welcome to attend this 10:30 AM liturgy, which takes the place of our regular 12:15 PM Eucharist.

8 AM Morning Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
8:30 AM Holy Eucharist (St. Martin’s)
10:30 AM Liturgy of Collegiality, The Holy Eucharist & Consecration of the Sacred Chrism (High Altar)
No 12:15 PM Eucharist on this day.
5 PM Evening Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
7 PM Holy Eucharist & Meditation (St. Martin’s)

Maundy Thursday
April 17
Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Holy Triduum, the three-day liturgical sequence that recalls the passion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In the Maundy Thursday liturgy, we commemorate the Last Supper and the tradition of the Mandatum novum (New Commandment), as the clergy ceremonially wash the feet of the People. After this liturgy, the annual American Poets Corner reading of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno commences.

8 AM Morning Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
8:30 AM Holy Eucharist (St. Martin’s)
5 PM Evening Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
7 PM Maundy Thursday Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar

9 PM The Reading of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno
Please visit the American Poets Corner page for more information about this signature Cathedral event.

All-Night Vigil
Immediately following the Maundy Thursday liturgy, the Congregation of St. Savior sponsors an all-night vigil in the Cathedral Baptistry. After the Dante reading, the Cathedral falls into silence, as those gathered contemplate Jesus’ journey as well as their own. All are welcome. Contact Christian DeRuiter (cderuiter@stjohndivine.org) for more information.

Good Friday
April 18
The Cathedral offers three unique ways to observe this most solemn day of the church year.

8 AM Morning Prayer (no Holy Eucharist at 12:15 PM)
12 PM Good Friday Liturgy (High Altar)
A traditional Good Friday observance, which uses Victoria's Passion, sung by the Cathedral Choir, to tell the crucifixion story.
2 PM Stations of the Cross or Via Crucis
Readings, in Spanish and English, and congregational chanting and hymns take participants through twelve stations, ending in the Biblical Garden. Begins in the Narthex.
5 PM Evening Prayer (St. Saviour’s)
7 PM Choral Lamentations (Crossing)
Featuring the stellar Cathedral Choir, the drama of Good Friday is set in relief through music across centuries and traditions.

Holy Saturday
April 19
7 PM The Great Vigil of Easter & Holy Eucharist (Nave, High Altar)
Beginning in total darkness, the congregation joins the clergy in illuminating the Cathedral by candlelight, as we observe the Paschal mystery – the passage from darkness into light, from death into life – told through scriptural readings and chanted psalms. When the lights of the Cathedral are finally thrown up, all join in ringing in the first moments of Easter, as the Great Organ sounds for the first time since its silencing on Maundy Thursday. The Bishop of New York celebrates, the Dean of the Cathedral preaches, and the Cathedral Choirs sing.

Easter Day
April 20
8 AM Holy Eucharist (St. James’s)
11 AM Festal Eucharist for Easter Day
The Cathedral will be brimming, as we sing together great hymns for Easter with glorious brass accompaniment. The Bishop of New York celebrates and preaches. There is no 9 AM Eucharist on Easter Day.
4 PM Festal Choral Evensong
After the drama and jubilation of Holy Week plays out, join the Cathedral Choir for the more contemplative liturgy of Evensong.

Visit the Calendar for information on all of the Cathedral's services.