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York Minster to mark Easter with digital prayers as lockdown continues

York Minster devoid of both locals and tourists during lockdown. Credit: PA Images

Worship and prayers for Holy Week and Easter at York Minster will be entirely digital for the first time this year – a landmark in the Minster’s 800 year history.

The cathedral closed to the public on 17 March in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, the Minster’s Dean and clergy have since been releasing daily reflections and prayers online, via the cathedral’s website and social media channels.

A sign outside York Minster, which has closed to visitors, as the death toll from coronavirus in the UK reached 71 people on Credit: PA Images

Next week, a new series of audio services will be released to mark some of the most important days in the Christian calendar - Palm Sunday (5 April), Maundy Thursday (9 April), Good Friday (10 April), Easter Eve (11 April) and Easter Day (12 April).

The mini-services, lasting around 15-20 minutes, will include readings, prayers and music recorded by the York Minster Choir both in late March and on earlier CDs, and a special video message from the Dean of York, Dr Jonathan Frost, for Easter Day.

Worship and prayers for Holy Week and Easter at York Minster will be entirely digital for the first time this year. Credit: PA Images

The Dean of York, the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost said: “Confined to our homes as we seek to stay safe, it is to box-sets or drama series to which many of us will turn. A good story can draw us in, reframe our perspective and open up new horizons.

“The true story of the last days of Jesus of Nazareth can do the same. Once again, we are invited to enter into the story of Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter. It’s all there, inviting us in: love and betrayal; politics and broken dreams; a vision to live and to die for.

“May you find hope in the reflections, meditations stories and music offered for Holy Week and Easter via the York Minster website. It is my prayer that you find confidence, fresh perspective and, most of all, your unique place within the story, and heart, of Jesus.”

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, 5 April, and concludes with Easter Day on Sunday 12 April. Credit: PA Images

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, 5 April, and concludes with Easter Day on Sunday 12 April.

The York Minster resources will complement wider activity by the Archbishop of York and the Church of England.

On Palm Sunday the bishops of Hull, Selby and Whitby will again be offering short prayers at 12noon, 4pm and 8pm, via the Diocese of York’s social media channels.

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