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.

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday – the first day of Holy Week. Our first image shows what we have been used to, these last years – we assemble in the forecourt of the Bishop’s Palace, joining with our friends from St Francis Xavier.  In the picture you can see a long-time friend, Peter the donkey, who does service now and also at the Donkey Service at Christmas.

What a scene of excitement it always is as we process from the Palace to the west front of the cathedral.  There, the choir sings ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’ and we go our separate ways – the cathedral congregation one way and St Francis Xavier the other. It’s a scene of great excitement and companionship.

Our second image shows an empty cathedral – on Palm Sunday it’s always nearly full – but not in our picture today. And not in reality. Yes, today, Palm Sunday’s cathedral has no excited congregation within it. But look again – can’t you see our lovely corona – symbol of Christ the King and symbol of the Man of Sorrows. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The corona, presiding over the scene, at this time. But for me, it is a timely reminder that, for the Christian, whatever pains we endure, whatever sorrows we experience, Christ our King– Christ the Man of Sorrows, has been there before and understands where we are. His kingship is not one of physical and earthly power, but the authority that comes of  service and empathy with his brothers and sisters.


Love me in my willingness to suffer

Love me in the gifts I wish to offer

Teach me how you love and have to die

And I will try


Somehow to forget myself and give

Life and joy so dead things start to live.

Let me show now an untrammelled joy,

Gold without alloy.


You know I have no cross but want to learn,

How to change and to the poor would turn,

I can almost worship stars and moon

And the sun at noon


But when I’m low I only beg you to

Ask me anything,  I’ll try to do

What you need.  I trust your energy.

Share it then with me


Elizabeth Jennings  (1926 -2001)

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.