Remembrance of those we love, including those who have died during the pandemic, and those who have given their lives in past conflicts, will be at the heart of the Season of Remembrance at York Minster this year.
On All Soul’s Day, Monday 2 November, there will be a Day to remember those who have died this year. The grief of bereavement has, this year, been amplified by the impact of the pandemic, with many people prevented from being with their loved one in their last hours and then having to navigate restrictions on funerals and memorial services. The recently bereaved will be welcomed into the Minster to remember their loved ones.
A space will be created inside the cathedral for people to sit quietly, to reflect, to pray and to light a candle for their dead. The day will conclude with the Minster’s annual Requiem Eucharist for All Soul’s Day at which we always remember loved ones who have died. At this service we will light a special candle for all who have died so far during the pandemic. This candle will burn at our major services over Advent and Christmas as a symbol of all those who have died this year and are being missed as we travel through Advent and as we celebrate Christmas.
From Monday 2 November, People We Love, a new commission by York based arts group KMA, will open at the Minster as part of York Medialé’s 2020 international media arts festival. The installation will create a temporary ‘congregation’ made up of a collection of five, large, high definition screens which will showcase a series of video portraits of York citizens. The portraits are focused on people who have been filmed looking at a photograph of someone they love. Viewers of People We Love will never find out who the subject is looking at. The viewer will simply experience the emotion on the face being projected before them allowing them to interpret each unspoken story. Visitors will also be able to add their story to the installation as a pop-up booth will be on-site, ready to capture the love stories of the city without the need for words. The work will resonate deeply in a year overshadowed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday 8 November, there will be a short Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration for those who served and those who died during the First and Second World Wars. The simple Service of Remembrance will include the act of commemoration and two minutes silence. The Archbishop of York, The Most Revd Stephen Cottrell will preach and the service will be attended by members of the British Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Royal British, York and York Civic Party.
The service will be ticketed and will be held under careful Government and Church of England Covid-19 secure guidelines with strict limits on the numbers attending. The service will be livestreamed from 10.30am making it possible for those who would normally attend the service to experience the occasion in real time.
On Monday 2 November, All Souls Day, admission will be free of charge but pre-booked timed slots will be required to ensure safe social distancing inside the cathedral. Pre-booked tickets will also be required for the annual Requiem Eucharist service at 5.30pm. Tickets for the service will be bookable online from Sunday 25 October. To book go to www.yorkminster.org.