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Ash Wednesday

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Lent, Holy Week and Easter lie at the heart of the Christian faith. Come and share this time together as our vast sacred spaces are brought to life with the glory of seasonal worship and music.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent – a season of reflection, penitence and fasting, and of preparation for Easter. At certain times throughout the day, the Imposition of Ashes will take place – a service where ashes are blessed and the sign of the cross is made, in ash, on the forehead of worshippers.

Ash is a sign of mortality – a reminder that we shall all die. The sign of the cross reminds us of Jesus’ death – which was followed by his being raised to new life. Ash Wednesday reminds us that through ‘dying’ to all that is self-centred in our lives, we may, through faith in Jesus, share in the fullness of life he came to bring.

The Minster is given to prayer and worship today (Ash Wednesday is a non-charging day at the cathedral). All are welcome, whether to join acts of worship, to pray on their own or to experience the space. Throughout the day and at all services prayers will be said for Ukraine and for peace and all are welcome to attend.

Service times and Imposition of Ashes:

Performance of T. S. Eliot’s Ash Wednesday

To mark Ash Wednesday, actor and director Charles Sharman-Cox will be performing T. S. Eliot’s moving poem Ash Wednesday live in York Minster’s magnificent Chapter House. The free performances will take place at 1pm and 3pm. No booking is required.

A captioned recording of the performance will also be shown continuously throughout the day on a screen in the Chapter House.

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