Holy week in the king's chapel

march 25th–april 2nd

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Love would never leave us alone.


Everything in Holy Week speaks of love.

The liturgies, which run from Palm Sunday on March 25 through Easter Sunday on April 1, are often long, for example, because love endures; the liturgies are sensual, because love depends on bodily intimacies (touch, smell, sight, sound); the liturgies are sorrowful, because every day love is violated; the services are mysteriously joyful, because no violation of love exhausts love’s mercy. Indeed, the Holy Week journey that recounts day by day the story of Christ’s death and so seems nothing if not tragic is, properly understood, from beginning to end the story of a wedding—everything speaks of love.

This, at least, is the conviction of one old tradition that places the image of Christ the Bridegroom at the very beginning of the most sacred week of the Christian year. Of the many titles given to God in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (Saviour, Lord, Father), Bridegroom is arguably the most common and significant. Holy Week is a journey into the mystery of a divine desire to be ‘wed’ to our humanity not simply in its beauty and goodness, but in its deepest and most profound darkness and forsakenness. In all of the liturgies and sermons, in the music and the silence, one truth will be proclaimed over and over again: that, though the world may betray love, ‘Love,’ as Bob Marley sings, ‘would never leave us alone.’

The daily liturgies of Holy Week are animated by lengthy readings from the four Gospels (the ‘biographies’ of Jesus at the beginning of the Christian New Testament). Read more.


Palm Sunday

March 25th

11 AM Sung Eucharist
A simple Eucharist with a small Sunday choir.
Procession in the King’s Quad led by a Palm donkey.

7 PM Salve Regina
King's Chorus sings at the Cathedral Church of All Saints.
For the Feast of the Annunciation and Palm Sunday
Featuring J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 1,
composed for the coinciding of these two Feasts in 1725


Monday in Holy Week

MArch 26th

4:45 PM Sung Evensong
5 PM Choral Holy Communion (King's Chapel Choir)
Address: Bp Mark MacDonald
Mass Setting: Missa Cum Jubilo
Motet: Tristis Est Anima Mea of O. di Lasso (1532-94)

9:30 PM Compline (Women’s Compline Choir)


Tuesday In Holy Week

March 27th

4:45 PM Sung Evensong
5 PM Holy Communion (Capella Regalis)
Address: Bp Mark MacDonald
Mass Setting: Missa Orbis Factor
Motet: O Saviour of the World of J. Goss (1800-1880)


Wednesday In Holy week

March 28th

4:45 PM Sung Evensong
5 PM Holy Communion (women of King's Chapel Choir)

Address: Bp Mark MacDonald
Mass Setting: Missa Dominator Deus
Motet: Hymn of Cassia (Anon. 8th c.)

9 PM Tenebrae at the Cathedral Church of All Saints
Lamentations of Jeremiah of T. Tallis (1505-85)
Miserere Mei of T.L. de Victoria (1548-1611)
Christus Factus Est of G. Asola (1532-1609)


Maundy Thursday

March 29th

4:45 PM Sung Evensong
5 PM Footwashing
Anthems: A New Commandment of T. Tallis
Ubi Caritas of M. Duruflé (1902-86)
5:15 PM The Last Supper
Address: Bp Mark MacDonald
Mass Setting: Collegium Regale of H. Howells (1908-91)
Motet: In Manus Tuas of J. Sheppard (1515-60)

Maundy Thursday 7 PM – 7 AM Good Friday
All Night Vigil before the Altar of Repose


Good Friday

MArch 30th

7 AM Morning Prayer
7.15 AM Said Holy Communion

10 AM Veneration of the Cross
Address: Mr Alan Hall
Anthems: O Vos Omnes of T.L. de Victoria (1548-1611)
The Reproaches of T.L. de Victoria
Miserere Mei of G. Allegri (1582-1652)
Crux Fidelis of Clemens (non Papa) (c. 1510-55)


Holy Saturday

March 31st

10 AM Morning Prayer and Holy Sabbath Cleaning
Contact Meghan Kitt for further information.

11 PM The Great Vigil of Easter and First Mass of Easter
Mass Setting: Messe Solennelle of  J. Langlais(1908-91)
Psalm: Sicut Cervus of G.P. da Palestrina (1525-94)
Gradual: Christ Our Passover of P. Halley (b 1952)
Motet: Dum Transisset of J. Taverner (b. 1498)
Voluntary: Litanies of J. Alain (1911-40)


Easter Sunday

April 1St

11 AM Sung Eucharist



April 2nd

5 PM Said Holy Communion

9:30 PM Compline (Women's Compline Choir)


About Our Holy Week Missioner

The Right Rev’d Mark MacDonald

The Right Rev’d Mark MacDonald is the National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada. He holds an MA in Divinity from Wycliffe College and a BA in Religious Studies and Psychology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Bp. MacDonald served for 10 years as Bishop of the US Episcopal Diocese of Alaska. He was appointed National Indigenous Bishop in 2007, when the position was created in response to an urgent need for forums within the church structure to address issues particular to Indigenous Anglicans.

In a 2016 interview, Bp. MacDonald said, “We could say that stories make us. I heard an elder once say that all the wisdom that you know comes to you in the stories they tell you when you’re a child. I think that story is an approach to truth that is more biblical and more Christian, but different from an academic treatment of doctrine. Stories allow for depths of understanding and layers of meaning.” It is a great honour to have Bp. MacDonald here to guide us into the immeasurable depths of the stories and images of Holy Week.