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Norwich Cathedral to go digital throughout Holy Week and Easter

PUBLISHED: 07:51 05 April 2020 | UPDATED: 07:51 05 April 2020

Norwich Cathedral in the Spring. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Norwich Cathedral in the Spring. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Norwich Cathedral © 2020

Norwich Cathedral has announced plans to hold digital services throughout Holy Week and Easter to help people mark the celebration while the cathedral itself remains closed to the public.

Quiet Cathedral in March 2020 during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill SmithQuiet Cathedral in March 2020 during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Norwich Cathedral is currently closed to help combat the spread of COVID-19 meaning the usual public services have not been going ahead as normal.

Instead, the clergy have been regularly publishing videos and podcasts on the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel.

Now, the service is being extended to mark Easter with a special series of digital worship planned throughout Holy Week and in the run-up to Easter Sunday.

The programme of videos and podcasts includes a daily podcast reflecting on the stations of the cross, a regular thought of the day The Rt Revd Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich and a recording of the Good Friday service.

The Rt Rev Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich, with the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, after his enthronement service in 2019. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Rt Rev Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich, with the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, after his enthronement service in 2019. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

On Easter Sunday itself, at 3pm BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting Norwich Cathedral’s Easter Day Choral Evensong from 2017.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “In these difficult and unusual times we must embrace new and inventive ways to celebrate this most special time in the Christian year.

“The regular rhythm of worship at Norwich Cathedral is continuing, albeit it in very different ways, and as we approach Holy Week and Easter, we are preparing a special series of podcasts and videos that we hope will help people continue to feel connected to the Cathedral community.”

Quiet Cathedral in March 2020 during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill SmithQuiet Cathedral in March 2020 during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

The full programme is as follows:

From April 1

There will be daily podcasts reflecting on the Stations of the Cross.

Palm Sunday

The Passion narrative will be told through words and illustrated by scenes from the Cathedral. On the Diocese of Norwich website (dioceseofnorwich.org) the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, will be leading the Sunday Hope podcast.

Monday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 8

The Rt Revd Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich, will present a short “thoughts for the day” homily every day from his home.

Maundy Thursday

In place of the traditional Maundy Thursday Chrism Eucharist at the Cathedral, members of clergy and laity from across the Diocese will connect via the digital platform Zoom to re-make their vows of ministry. In the evening, the Bishop of Norwich will present a short homily, the Dean of Norwich will lead prayers, and members of Chapter will read the story of the Last Supper.

Good Friday

The Cathedral’s medieval roof bosses, which decorate the ceiling of Nave, will be the focus of a video looking at the Passion narrative and the Meditations on Mary.

A Good Friday service will be recorded, focussing on the Veneration of the Cross.

At 3pm all of the Cathedral clergy will say common prayers in their homes and an order of service for people to follow will be available on the Explore Faith page on the Cathedral website. This will not be recorded or posted on YouTube.

Holy Saturday Evening

The Revd Canon Aidan Platten, Canon Precentor, will alone light the Easter Fire and Paschal Candle. The Revd Dr Peter Doll, Canon Librarian and Vice Dean, will read the Easter Homily of St John Chrysostom. This will be recorded and posted on YouTube.

Easter Sunday

The Dean of Norwich will celebrate a simple Eucharist from the Deanery and deliver a short Easter Day message from the Cathedral.


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