Lent, Holy Week & Easter • 2023

Journey with us through Lent and Holy Week as we follow Jesus’ path to his death on the cross and his glorious resurrection on Easter Day.

Lent, Holy Week and Easter include some of the most important dates in the Christian calendar. We follow the story of Jesus’s life, how he faced suffering and death, and inspired many to believe and live a new way of life. St Paul’s Cathedral will be bringing the opportunity to follow this holy season, with our regular services both in the Cathedral and online. 

Many of our Lent, Holy Week & Easter services will be available to watch live on the Cathedral website and via our Social Media Channels. Click here to access our Online Worship Page.

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 22 February
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and invites us to observe Lent as a holy season. As we journey through Lent to Jerusalem and the cross, we are called to be Jesus’ disciples ever more closely. Ash Wednesday invites us to cast off whatever hinders us, to experience refreshment of faith and the joy of the resurrection.

12.15pm • Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
Preacher: The Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne

6.00pm • Choral Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
Preacher: The Most Revd Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne

Lent Study Series

Journeying with Bach’s St John Passion: Six Steps on the Way of the Cross
Sundays at 9.00am & 11.45am in the Cathedral’s Education & Ministry Centre.
Click here to view the Lent Addresses

  • 26 Feb: ‘One of you will betray me’ (John 13.21-32)
  • 6 Mar: ‘Servants are not greater than their master’ (John 15.18-25)
  • 13 Mar: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will have denied me three times’ (John 13.33-38)
  • 20 Mar: ‘For this I came into the world, to testify to the truth’ (John 18.28-38a)
  • 27 Mar: ‘You have no power over me’ (John 18.38-19.16)
  • 3 Apr: ‘It is finished (John 19.16b-30)

You don’t need to know about the composer’s life in detail in order to appreciate his music—suffice to say that Bach was as well trained theologically as he was musically, and that he used both gifts to compose his sacred music to point people to the cross, and to find there the ground of their hope, and the confidence of their salvation. In these next few days, we’ll be journeying to the cross with Bach, and hopefully will discover new insights for our own faith-filled following after Jesus.

Bless you on your Lenten journey!

Dean Andreas Loewe

Eat, Pray Love • Addresses for Maundy Thursday & Good Friday

At our 6.00pm service and 7.15pm Watch of Prayer on Maundy Thursday evening, and at 9.00am Good Friday, Canon Heater Patacca will reflect on Jesus’ actions and words as he and his disciples join together for a meal, spend time in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and in Jesus’ great act of love accomplished on the cross, in a series of talks ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.

Eat Pray Love is a well-known book and film, based on the experiences of Elizabeth Gilbert, who, feeling deeply unhappy despite ‘having everything’, travels the world to find herself. It sounds very self-oriented and perhaps self-absorbed. It may well have been! 

For us as Christians, our identity is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Through our faith in him, in the efficacy of his death and resurrection to give us life as children of God, the question of identity for us moves from who we are to whose we are. 

Earlier in March, I was in Tasmania leading a retreat for the clergy of their diocese, and I used the title of Gilbert’s memoir for a series of talks based around the last supper, Jesus’ time of prayer in Gethsemane, and his death on the cross. The aim was be to once again ground ourselves as beloved and cherished children of God. 

In Holy Week at the Cathedral we will have the opportunity to do the same. At the 6pm Maundy Thursday service, I will reflect on Jesus’ actions and words as he and his disciples join together for a meal. In the Watch from 7 – 9pm following that service, we will reflect on Jesus’ time of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. And at the 9am Good Friday service we will reflect on Jesus’ great act of love accomplished on the cross.

Canon Heather Patacca

Palm Sunday, Holy Week & Easter Services

Since the earliest days in the life of the church, people have marked the events of each day, following Jesus from his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on the day that we call Palm Sunday, through to the momentous events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the sheer desolation of Holy Saturday and the joy of Easter Day.

Palm Sunday • 2 April

8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
Preacher: The Revd Canon Dr Garry Deverell

10.00am Choral Eucharist & Procession of Palms
Procession of Palms marking the triumpral entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and dramatic reading of the St Mark’s Passion Gospel.
Preacher: The Revd Canon Dr Garry Deverell

4.00pm Choral Evensong
Preacher: The Ven. Ray McInnes

Holy Monday • 3 April

12.15pm Holy Communion & Address

5.10pm Evening Prayer

Holy Tuesday • 4 April

11.00am Diocesan Chrism Eucharist & Renewal of Ministry Promises
Clergy and Lay Ministers from across the Diocese gather for this service and renew their Ministerial Promises and for the Blessing of Oils, led by the Archbishop.

5.10pm Choral Evensong

Holy Wednesday • 5 April

12.15pm Holy Communion & Address

1.00pm Holy Week Lunchtime Concert
A special Holy Week performance of Pergolesi’s evocative setting of the 13th-century Latin text depicting Mary’s suffering during Jesus’ crucifixion.

5.10pm Choral Evensong

Maundy Thursday • 6 April

12.15pm Holy Communion & Address
Preacher: The Canon Pastor

6.00pm Choral Eucharist
An evocative service remembering the Last Supper at which Jesus washed the feet of his friends, followed by a silent vigil of prayer
Preacher: The Canon Precentor – ‘Eat’

7.30pm – 9.30pm Watch of Prayer
The Address: The Canon Precentor – ‘Pray’

Good Friday • 7 April

9.00am Good Friday Liturgy
A solemn telling of the Passion story in music and commemoration of the death of Jesus on the Cross with an opportunity for personal prayers under the Cross
Preacher: The Canon Precentor – ‘Love’

3.00pm Stainer’s Crucifixion (Liturgical Performance)
A telling of the Passion story through the music of John Stainer, performed by the Cathedral Choir. Free admission: a donation of $25 per person will help cover the costs of this Good Friday tradition – tickets are not required.
Preacher: The Dean

Easter Day • 9 April

6.00am Easter Vigil & First Eucharist of the Resurection
A dramatic dawn service from darkness to light, with the lighting of the new fire and Easter candle, and celebration of the first Eucharist of Easter and the rite of Baptism, Confirmation and Reception into the Anglican Church.
Preacher: The Dean

10.00am Easter Day Choral Eucharist
Celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead in word and sacrament. Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
Preacher: The Archbishop of Melbourne

4.00pm Festive Choral Evensong
Preacher: The Canon Missioner

Royal Melbourne Philharmonic: Mozart’s Requiem

Hear three of the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most iconic works performed by candlelight in the spectacular setting of St Paul’s Cathedral.

  • Saturday, 15 April, 5:00 PM 

The acclaimed Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra present Mozart’s dramatic and enigmatic Requiem in D minor. Unfinished at the time of the composer’s death, and shrouded in mystery since it was first commissioned by an anonymous messenger dressed in grey, the Requiem is one of the world’s most famous compositions. From the Requiem’s dark and ponderous opening bars, to the scintillating Dies Irae, the dramatic choral fugues, the famous Tuba Mirum and the emotionally gripping Confutatis and Lacrymosa movements, the work takes the listener on an emotional journey like few others in Western music.

Click here to purchase tickets
Approximate duration of the concert: 90 minutes with no interval