From earliest times, Christians gathered at regular hours during each day and night to respond to God's word with praise on behalf of creation and with intercession for the salvation of the world. By the fourth century, if not earlier, morning and evening had emerged as the pre-eminent hours for the offering of this sacrifice of praise. The patterns of this prayer embrace the three key elements of praise, intercession and engagement with Scripture which form the heart of the daily praying tradition of the Church. This liturgical pattern includes festivals (Christmas and Easter), seasons (Lent, Advent, etc.) and readings for each week which take us through the cycle of the old and new testament. The readings take us through from the poetry of the creation story, to the prophets who preached the coming of Christ, to the story of Christ himself - his birth, ministry, death and resurrection, and the founding of the Church.
Morning prayer - is a spoken service with prayers, psalms and bible readings. Each day we pray for our city, the church and the world. It lasts for 30 minutes. Visitors can join in, or just sit and listen. We do a similar service called Evening Prayer later in the day if we are not holding a service of evensong.
Lunchtime Eurcharist - is a spoken service where we remember the life of Christ and his sacrifice on the cross, which culminates in the symbolic eating of bread and drinking of wine. If you have been confirmed you can take communion, or come up for a blessing from the priest. It lasts for 30 minutes and takes place in one of our chapels.
Choral Evensong - is a sung service at the end of the day. It includes prayers, the singing of a psalm, the Magnificant (the Virgin Mary's hymn of praise), the Nunc Dimites (the Song of Simeon at the temple), an anthem and prayers. This is sung by the Cathedral choir in term time and our visiting choirs during the school holidays. The musical repertoire spans many centuries and includes monastic chants, and music from the Renaissance (Byrd and Tallis), Baroque and modern periods. Visitors can join in the service, which usually takes place in the choir of the Cathedral, or sit in the nave (the main part of the building) and simply listen. It lasts for 45 minutes.
If you wish to say these services yourself at home you can now download the free Church of England Daily Prayer app - go to the app store for details.
- 7.40am Matins - the service is spoken using Common Worship
- 8.00am Holy Communion - the service is spoken using the Book of Common Prayer
- 10:00am Cathedral Eucharist - the service is sung using Common Worship
- 3.30pm Choral Evensong - the service is sung using the Book of Common Prayer
- Morning Prayer - daily at 8.30am in the Berkeley Chapel
- Holy Communion - daily at 12.30pm - the service is spoken using Common Worship
- Choral Evensong - daily at 5.15pm and on Saturdays it is held at 3.30pm in the Quire - the service is sung using the Book of Common Prayer
Our choir is made up of girls and boys, and adult lay clerks and choral scholars. They sing in different configurations during term time:
- Monday - boy choristers and lay clerks and choral scholars
- Tuesday - girl choristers and lay clerks
- Wednesday - boys' voices
- Thursday - usually Evening Prayer (spoken), but occasionally a visiting choir may sing at this service
- Friday - men's voices
- Saturday - girl choristers or boy choristers with lay clerks and choral scholars
During the school holidays visiting choirs will sometimes sing, or services will be spoken. See the service list on the home page for more detailed information.