Halifax Minster prepares to mark Holy Week and Easter

Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

Halifax Minster will mark Holy Week and Easter in a number of special ways.

A moving service symbolic of the Last Supper will be held at the Minster when the preacher will be Her Majesty The Queen’s Chaplain.

The Eucharist service on Maundy Thursday, April 2, beginning at 7.30pm, will include foot-washing and a vigil until midnight.

The service will be led by the Bishop of Huddersfield, The Rev Jonathan Gibbs, and the preacher will be Canon Roger Hill.

Canon Hill serves as one of the Chaplains to Her Majesty The Queen and will be Halifax’s “Visiting Pilgrim” during Holy Week.

Oils used in the service will have been blessed earlier in the day at a special Chrism Mass, held in Ripon Cathedral.

During the Minster Eucharist service, 12 members of the congregation – people of all ages - will be invited to come forward to have their feet washed.

This represents the 12 disciples who had their feet washed at Christ’s Last Supper.

At the end of the service, all decorations are stripped from the Minster, including banners, images and altar cloths, and the lights are turned out and candles extinguished.

An “altar” with reserve sacrament is then created in the Holdsworth Chapel and a vigil kept until midnight.

Minster curate, The Rev Jonathan Bish said: “The service promises to be very moving as symbolically it is a re-enactment of the Last Supper. The stripping of the church symbolises the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples.”

On Good Friday, April 3, there will be Easter fun for young ones when a children’s activity morning will be held, from 10.30am to 12 noon.

A variety of creative activities are planned and there will be coffee and cake for parents while the youngsters have fun.

At 1.30pm, there will be a Good Friday Liturgy, a moving service recalling Christ’s death on the cross.

The service will feature music from the Minster Chamber Choir and the preacher will be Canon Roger Hill.

On Easter Saturday, April 4 at 8pm there will be an Easter Vigil, and on Easter Sunday, April 5, there will be three services to mark this important day.

Holy Communion takes place at 9am, followed by Sung Eucharist at 10.30am featuring once again Canon Roger Hill.

Both of these services will take place at Halifax Minster.

Finally, at 4pm, Evensong for Easter takes place at All Souls Church, Haley Hill.

All Souls was commissioned in 1856 by local industrialist Edward Akroyd, who appointed Sir George Gilbert Scott as architect; Scott considered the church, completed three years later, to be his finest.

Designated by English Heritage as a Grade 1 listed building, the church is now redundant and under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

It is opened up to the public only a handful of times per year.

The Rev Bish added: “Everyone is welcome to all of our services during this special Holy Week and as we celebrate Easter.”

Further details are available on the Minster website: www.halifaxminster.org.uk or by ringing the Minster office on 01422 355436.