The Dean has prepared a visual journey through Holy Week: an image for each day from within the cathedral, together with a reflection and prayer. We will the daily reflections onto our website each morning.

Holy Saturday

Every year, on this day, the cathedral is normally full of activity. An army of our wonderful flower arrangers is in the cathedral very early. They would have been away from the cathedral for the whole of Lent with no flowers during this season but they aren't idle during this time! Many preparations would have normally been taking place – flowers ordered, rotas arranged. And then their skills come into play and the cathedral becomes a riot of colour and beauty for the ‘day of days’ – the day of resurrection. We shall miss those lovely glimpses of glory this year but shall look out of our windows – we shall drink in beauty and colour in the world of nature on our daily walk – and we shall look forward to seeing their skills in happier times!


One of the great features of a cathedral Easter is the tomb and garden and, during the week, the team are usually at work erecting it. Today, Holy Saturday, the stone is closed over the mouth of the tomb as we recall the body of Jesus laying there, in the quiet and peace.


At Evensong, we then normally process to the tomb in the south transept, where it is dedicated and we depart – thoughtful and reflective…

‘He’s gone,- says Joseph, and, with Pilate’s leave

Eases the nails and lowers him from the Tree,

Wraps him in reverent and tender thoughts

And lays him in the cave called Memory.


That cave is deeply hewn in Joseph’s heart:

All that’s within will always be his own:

In memory’s cave the treasure of his past

Is safe for ever, walled and sealed by stone.


‘He’s safe,’ says Joseph, ‘safe in this cool place

And no one now can take my Lord away.

In years to come I’ll still see his dear face

As clearly as I’ve seen it on this day.’


‘He’s gone!’ cries Joseph at the empty tomb:

But Mary says, ‘He’s left a word for you:

He cannot rest content to be your past,

So he has risen to be your future too.’

W.H Vanstone, 1923-99

To listen to the Dean's musical journey through Holy Week, recorded by our cathedral choir, and with a commentary and introduction please click here.