Monday, 20 April 2015

The Holy Sepulchre in York Minster

Set up in the north transept of York Minster from Palm Sunday, underneath the famous Five Sister’s window, is an Easter Garden. Around five metres long, the garden recalls key scenes from the Passion of Christ and is added to throughout the Easter Week. During Holy Week, York Minster is the only cathedral in the country to host a daily Choral Evensong every day, from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday.

Easter Garden, York Minster. Photograph: Laura Slater

The Easter Garden grows and changes throughout the week. On Palm Sunday, it consists only of the tomb of Christ and the three crosses of Mount Calvary.

'Mount Calvary'. Photograph: Laura Slater

Gradually, new elements are added, including palm branches, the thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas, a crown of thorns, three nails, and the shroud in which Jesus was wrapped. 

Photograph: Laura Slater

During the Easter Vigil on Easter Saturday, the tomb is opened and illuminated to symbolise the Resurrection of Christ. The garden is filled with flowers in celebration, and the garden is blessed by the Archbishop of York. The Easter Garden remains in the Minster until Pentecost, fifty days after Easter Sunday. The feast of Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and is sometimes seen as marking the birth of the Church.

The empty tomb of Christ, illuminated and surrounded by flowers. Photograph: Laura Slater

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