St Thomas Becket Day at Canterbury: Friday 29 December

St Thomas A Becket pub sign, based on Canterbury window, at Rock Island  in Old Kent Road

On the fifth Day of Christmas 847 years ago Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.

This Friday 29 December the anniversary will be kept with a special evensong at 3.15pm.

Becket died as Vespers was starting.

So during sung evensong at Canterbury Cathedral there is a procession to the Martyrdom where a few lines from TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral are read. Afterwards the procession continues to the crypt where Becket’s body was first laid.

His eventual shrine upstairs became the object of the great pilgrimage along the Pilgrims’ Way.

Vespers is sung in the crypt at 8pm by Canterbury’s Roman Catholic Church.

The day begins 12 hours earlier with an Anglican Eucharist for St Thomas Becket Day at the Altar of Sword’s Point on the martyrdom site in the north transept.

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