Ripon Cathedral is holding a special service as it re-opens its doors for public worship on Saturday July 4, the next step in its journey towards a new normal.
A fire will be lit on the cathedral forecourt and from this the paschal (Easter) candle will be lit and carried in to the darkened church; this symbolises the resurrection and the light of Christ coming in to the world. The service at 7.30pm will be led by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines and is a celebration for the whole diocese. The ceremony is usually held on Holy Saturday (Easter Eve) but lockdown restrictions saw the doors of the cathedral closed on March 23.
Following the latest guidelines from the government, the cathedral will be able to open to visitors and pilgrims alike from July 4, with the first public service of Holy Communion taking place on Sunday July 5. All are welcome to both the Saturday evening service and Sunday’s Eucharist.
The cathedral opened for private prayer on June 15 and since then has seen a steady flow of people across its threshold, coming to pray, light candles and speak with its priests.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson said: “We are delighted that public worship will be possible again from July 4 and clergy and staff are working hard to put all the arrangements in place to enable this to happen safely.
“We are encouraged by the positive response to our opening for private prayer on June 15; notwithstanding all the necessary demands to ensure the public are kept as safe as possible, it is clearly the case that there is a significant need both amongst regular worshippers and the wider community to cross the thresholds of our churches and cathedrals both for private prayer and public worship.
“At Ripon Cathedral we are very keen to respond to the heightened awareness that many now have of God’s presence and activity in their lives.”
Some services and reflections will continue to be streamed on YouTube – including the service on Saturday July 4 – and these can all be accessed via the front page of our website. A full list of services being held in the cathedral can also be found at www.riponcathedral.org.uk