Holy Week and Easter 2024 at Bath Abbey

Holy Week and Easter is being celebrated with special services, and activities for families and schools. During this important time, Christians reflect on the life, sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Holy Week begins on the 25th March 2024, following Palm Sunday.

Why is Holy Week and Easter important?

Holy Week rituals and services follow Jesus during his last days. On (Maundy) Thursday we remember Jesus’ Last Supper with the Apostles, when in an act of servanthood he washed their feet. The Abbey service will include symbolic foot-washing. On Good Friday we remember the crucifixion of Christ for the forgiveness sins, with services and reflective music and readings.

Holy Saturday is a solemn day on which we lament the death of Christ. The Abbey is open to visitors for prayer and the lighting of candles, with hourly readings to reflect on the crucifixion.

Easter Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3.16

Holy Week and Easter Services at Bath Abbey

A full list of the week’s services can be found here: https://www.bathabbey.org/lent-holy-week-and-easter/

A few highlights are:

Wednesday 27th March

  • 7.00pm – J.S. Bach St Matthew Passion Concert

The nationally acclaimed Bath Abbey Choirs will be performing alongside baroque players Rejouissance. It is a rare opportunity to hear this rich and complex work, and a chance to reflect on the profound message of redemption and hope offered by the Easter story at this important time of year. Remaining tickets can be booked on site on Wednesday and on the Bath Box Office website: https://bathboxoffice.org.uk/whats-on/js-bach-st-mathew-passion/about

Stained Glass Image of Jesus on the Cross

Maundy Thursday  28th March

  • 7.00pm – Sung Eucharist with foot washing & stripping of the altar, followed by a 1 hour vigil

Good Friday 29th March

  • 10.00am – Good Friday Family service
  • 12 noon –  Led meditation
  • 2.00pm –   Final Hour with the Abbey clergy
  • 5.30pm –   Stainer’s Crucifixion

Easter Sunday 31st March

  • 8am –          Holy Communion
  • 9.30am –    Church Family Communion
  • 11.30am –  Sung Eucharist
  • 3.30pm –    Choral Evensong
  • 6.30pm –    Informal Service

Easter Family Trail

Families are welcome to visit the Abbey during this time to learn more about the Easter Story. A Family Easter Trail, which is free with admission, allows children to follow clues to decode a special message for a mini egg prize. The Trail runs from 25th March – 14th April, during visiting hours.

Stations of the Cross

Explore and reflect on the true meaning of Easter with a free accompanying leaflet available at the Welcome Desk until the 1st  April.

Spring Joy! Craft Sessions

Bath Abbey is hosting Easter-themed crafting sessions for ages 5+. These are free with normal admission, or a Discovery Card.

Altar at Bath Abbey with a mat and cushions laid out for the Stations of the Cross Last Supper

Spring Joy! Make a hat

On Saturday 6th April 10.30 – 4.30pm, children are invited to come and make a colourful bonnet or tricorn, inspired by the Abbey’s eighteenth-century history. Children will be able to try on a stunning Georgian outfit to match their hat.

Spring Joy! Make a bouquet

On Saturday 13th April 10.30 – 4.30pm, using recycled materials, children can come along to make a beautiful bouquet inspired by the Abbey’s Tudor Chapel. There will be an opportunity to plant flower seeds in a Tudor style cup for children to take away and watch grow.

Easter Experience for schools

The Easter Experience for Schools, aimed at Key Stage 2 classes, returns for a third year running. Schools were invited to book a session with the Abbey’s Learning Manager, to explore the Easter story in a creative and reflective way. The Stations of the Cross play a key role in helping the visiting school children to understand the message of Jesus and the importance of this time of year for Christians.

Visiting hours

Bath Abbey will remain open for visiting during Holy Week and Easter, though opening times may vary to accommodate for special services. It is always advisable to check on the Bath Abbey website, or on Google, regularly before visiting in case of last-minute alterations made to accommodate services at this busy parish church.

Wooden cross with red and purple fabric draped over, with roses laid on the fabric.