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Lent and Holy Week

Lent and Easter 2019 at Carlisle Cathedral

Find out more about Lent, Holy Week and Easter, their meaning, and how we follow Jesus' journey through suffering and death to new life...

Eucharist with Organ Music for Lent

Sung Eucharist with Lent Sermon Series

Lenten Eucharist with Short Address

The Eucharist is celebrated daily and is an opportunity to deepen our communion with God and with one another. During Lent, organ music will be played before, during and after the 12:30pm service. Mr Edward Taylor, the Assistant Organist, will play on each of the Fridays in March.

A spoken service the Eucharist lasts roughly 30 minutes and is popular with those who work in the city centre, or those in town for shopping and leisure.  It is a chance for the congregation to share in the bread and wine of Communion.

Worship has taken place on this site for almost 900 years and daily services continue to this day. Our services are free to attend and everyone is welcome. The Cathedral is open for visitors during this service.


During Lent, we will be using a recently published book, The Road to Character by David Brooks, to shape our Sunday morning sermon series. Using diverse real-life portraits, he asks "How would you like to be remembered?".

Lent 1. Sunday 10 March at 10:30am
The Road to Character, given by Canon Jan Kearton
Lent 2. Sunday 17 March at 10:30am
Love: George Eliot, given by The Dean
Lent 3. Sunday 24 March at 10:30am
Dignity: Philip Randolf, given by Canon Michael Manley
Lent 4. Sunday 31 March at 10:30am
Order or Chaos: Augustine, given by Canon Jan Kearton
Lent 5. Sunday 7 April at 10:30am
Sensitivity and scepticism: Samuel Johnson and Michel de Montaigne, given by The Dean

We are delighted that ecumenical friends and neighbours have accepted our invitation to join us and offer a brief Lenten address at the Eucharist on Wednesdays, at 12:30pm: 

13 March: Canon Michael Manley Carlisle Cathedral
20 March: The Revd Keith Teasdale St Cuthbert's and St Aidan's
27 March: The Revd David Pitkeathly The Border Kirk
3 April:      Captain Mel Scoulding The Salvation Army
10 April:    The Revd David Newlove Carlisle Methodist Superintendent Minister
17 April:    The Revd Nick Mark St George's United Reformed Church


Guest Choir: St Mary's Singers

Palm Sunday, 14 April

Holy Week Preacher: Dr F. Ward

We are pleased to welcome the St Mary's Singers as our guests at the end of March.

St Mary's Singers will be singing Evensong on Saturday 30 March at 3pm and will return on Mothering Sunday, 31 March, for the 10:30am Sung Eucharist. Refer to our Music List for detail sof the music being sung at these services.

Whether you come to be closer to God, to take some time out to breath or to hear beautiful music... you are welcome. 

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Join us for our family-friendly PLUS service, morning prayer or our afternoon Passiontide, with the Senior Girls' Choir. Everyone is welcome at these services, to mark this very special time of the year:

07:40  Morning Prayer
08:00  Holy Communion
10:30  PLUS Eucharist with Procession of Palms from St Cuthbert's Church
15:00  Passiontide Devotion with music sung by the Senior Girls' Choir and Lay Clerks

Each year we invite a guest preacher to lead our services during Holy Week; this year we welcome The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward to Carlisle. Dr Ward was ordained in 1994 and has served communities across the UK, first as vicar at St Peter's in Bury, then as a Residentiary Canon at Bradford Cathedral. In 2010 she took up the position of Dean of St Edmundsbury, a post which she held until 2017.

During Holy Week The Very Revd Dr F. Ward will be taking the following services, and all are welcome to attend:

Monday 15 April at 19:30        Sung Eucharist
Tuesday 16 April at 19:30       Sung Eucharist
Wednesday 17 April at 19:30  Sung Eucharist
Thursday 18 April at 19:30      The Eucharist of the Lord's Supper, followed by Watch of the Passion
Good Friday at 13:30               The Good Friday Liturgy

Holy Week, 14 to 20 April

Good Friday

Easter Sunday

Come along and be part of this year's festival, at this most holy and special time of the year.

Highlights include: Maundy Thursday's 11am Chrism Eucharist where members of the clergy reaffirm their commitment to God's kingdom. On the Thursday evening we take The Eucharist of the Lord's Supper after which the Cathedral is stripped of decoration and we begin the Watch of the Passion, marking Jesus' time of prayer at Gethsemane. 

The Good Friday Liturgy takes place at 1.30pm. On Friday evening we reflect during the short service of The Cross of Lights as we lay candles around a large cross as signs of our love and devotion. Finally, on Saturday 20, we mark Easter Eve with the Vigil, Confirmation, and the first Communion of Easter. The Cathedral is in darkness but for our candles and our voices ring out in hymns of joy.

Join us this Good Friday for services and events for all the family, with music sung by the Cathedral Choir and time for reflection, prayer, love and devotion.

08:00  Morning Prayer and Litany
10:30  Love Unstoppable - activities, crafts, music, prayer for all the family
12:00  A Meditation, with prayers and readings led by the Choir
13:30  The Good Friday Liturgy - at this service we hear the Passion Story, with an opportunity to offer our personal thanks and intercessions to the Lord who loves us
21:00  The Cross of Lights - a short service where we remember how Jesus was taken from the cross for burial. A cross is laid and surrounded by candles, signs of our love and devotion.

Our festival culminates in a day of reflection and celebration: Easter Sunday. Please join us at your Cathedral for these services to experience new life and a passing from darkness into light. We are filled with joy and we celebrate Christ's resurrection with all we can muster! This is a many-splendoured day of services.

08:00  Said Holy Communion
10:30  Festival Eucharist sung by the Cathedral Choir
            President: The Bishop of Carlisle
            Preacher: The Dean of Carlisle
15:00  Choral Evensong sung by the Cathedral Choir
            Preacher: Canon Michael Manley