Observing the Season: Ash Wednesday & Holy Week

ASH WEDNESDAY
February 18, 2015

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

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

Spoken services are offered in the morning in the intimacy of the Cathedral’s chapels of St. Martin and St. James. At the afternoon and evening services, celebrated at the High Altar, the choir offers contemplative music befitting this solemn occasion, including Allegri's Miserere.

Ash Wednesday Service Schedule:
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 Choir offers music by Farrant, Byrd and Allegri.
7:00 pm High Altar, seating in Great Choir
The Cathedral Choir & Chorale offer music by Samuel S. Wesley, Dawson and Allegri.

HOLY WEEK
March 29 - April 5, 2015

Palm Sunday
March 29
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
11 am The Blessing of the Palms & Holy Eucharist
4 pm Choral Evensong

Holy Monday and Holy Wednesday
March 30 and April 1
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 Chapel)
12:15 pm Holy Eucharist (St. Martin’s Chapel)
5 pm Evening Prayer (St. Martin's Chapel)
7 pm Holy Eucharist & Meditation (St. Martin’s Chapel)

Holy Tuesday
March 31
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. Martin’s Chapel)
8:30 am Holy Eucharist (St. Martin’s Chapel)
10:30 am Liturgy of Collegiality, The Holy Eucharist & Consecration of the Sacred Chrism
5 pm Evening Prayer (St. Martin’s Chapel)
7 pm Holy Eucharist & Meditation (St. Martin’s Chapel)

8 pm Dzieci's A Passion (St. Saviour's Chapel)
A dramatic choral liturgy not bound by any one religion, offered by the Dzieci Theatre ensemble.

Maundy Thursday
April 2
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.

8 am Morning Prayer (St. Martin’s Chapel)
5 pm Evening Prayer (St. Martin’s Chapel)
7 pm Maundy Thursday Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar
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.

9 pm The Reading of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno
After the 7 pm liturgy, the annual American Poets Corner reading of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno commences. Please visit the American Poets Corner page for more information about this signature Cathedral event.

All-Night Vigil
At 9 pm, immediately following the Maundy Thursday liturgy, all are welcome to join in a centuries-old tradition of prayer and meditation in the Cathedral Baptistry. After the Dante reading, the Cathedral falls into silence, as those gathered keep watch over the Reserved Sacrament overnight, and contemplate Jesus’ journey as well as their own. All are welcome. Contact Christian DeRuiter (cderuiter@stjohndivine.org) for more information.

Good Friday
April 3
The Cathedral offers three unique ways to observe this most solemn day of the church year. No 12:15 pm Eucharist or 5 pm Evening Prayer this day.

8 am Morning Prayer (St. Martin's Chapel)
The All-Night Vigil closes with this service. All are welcome.
12 pm Good Friday Liturgy
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.
7 pm Choral Lamentations
Featuring the stellar Cathedral Choir, the drama of Good Friday is set in relief through music across centuries and traditions.

Holy Saturday
April 4

7 pm The Great Vigil of Easter & Holy Eucharist
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.

This is the only liturgy of the day.

Easter Day
April 5

8 am Holy Eucharist (St. James’ Chapel)
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 Cathedral Choirs sing music of Vierbe, Helvey, and Taverner. The Bishop of New York celebrates and preaches.
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. Music of Radcliffe, Friedell, and Taverner.

While passes are not required, a limited number of reserved seating passes are available for the Festal Eucharist for Easter Day. Please contact Christine Allen from February 18 – March 22, preferably by email (callen@stjohndivine.org), or by calling (212) 316-7490. Passes are honored until 10:10 pm.

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