Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar, the death and resurrection of Christ. If you’re religious and want to attend a service this Holy Week, some of London’s most important and impressive churches have a schedule of services that are open to all.
Westminster Abbey The thousand year old Abbey has services all of Holy Week, on Good Friday at 12 noon At the Cross, a Good Friday meditation with readings and hymns and at 3pm Solemn Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. On Holy Saturday at 3pm Evensong and 8pm Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter.
On Easter Sunday at 8am there’s Holy Communion, at 10.30am Sung Eucharist, at 3pm Festal Evensong and Procession, at 5.45pm Organ Recital and at 6.30pm A Service of Readings and Music for Easter.
St Paul’s Cathedral On Good Friday at St Paul’s you can attend at 10am Mattins and Litany in Procession, 12 noon The Three Hour Devotion and at 5pm The Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday. On Holy Saturday at 7pm Easter Vigil:Bonfire, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist. Easter Sunday services start at 8.10am with a Sung Eucharist followed by a 10am Said Eucharist, an 11.30am Sung Eucharist, a 3.15pm Festal Evensong and a 6pm Eucharist.
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Westminster Cathedral The most important Catholic church in London has a full programme of Easter services starting on Good Friday at 10am with the Office of Readings, 11am Children’s Stations of the Cross, 12 noon Crucifixion on Victoria Street, 3pm Celebration of the Lord’s Passion and 8pm Prayer at the Foot of the Cross. On Easter Saturday there’s a 10am Office of Readings and at 8pm The Easter Vigil. For Easter Sunday there’s a 9am Family Mass, a 10am Morning Prayer, a 10.30am Solemn Mass and at 3.30pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction.
Southwark Cathedral This Anglican cathedral was built in the 13th century and is located on the south bank of the Thames near London Bridge. Good Friday services start at 9.00am with Morning Prayer and Litany and are followed by an 11am Procession of Witness (starting from the Cathedral Churchyard and moving to the Elephant and Castle), 12 noon Liturgy of the Three Hours, 4pm Evening Prayer and a 6.30pm Good Friday Concert.
On Holy Saturday there’s a 9am Morning Prayer and Litany, a 4pm Evening Prayer and a 8pm Easter Vigil with the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Easter Sunday services begin at 8.45am with Morning Prayer and continue with a 9am Eucharist with Hymns, a 11am Choral Eucharist, Procession and the Distribution of Easter eggs, at 3pm Choral Evensong and at 6.30pm Service of Light.
St Martin in the Field Opposite the National Gallery on the northeast side of Trafalgar Square, the front of St Martins is currently covered due to renovation work but they still have a programme of Easter services. On Good Friday there’s a 8am Morning Prayer, a 10am Good Friday all-age service, at 12 noon The Three Hours and at 7.30pm a Evening Concert.
On Holy Saturday there’s a 9am Morning Prayer and a 7.30pm Evening Concert. Easter Sunday starts early with a 5.30am Easter Vigil and First Eucharist followed by at 8am Holy Communion, 10am Eucharist, 1.15pm Service in Mandarin, 2.15pm Service in Cantonese and at 5pm Choral Evensong. St Martins has a large congregation from London’s Chinese community.