St Thomas Becket

Canterbury Cathedral seen from Archbishop’s Palace

This year St Thomas Becket Day falls at the weekend.

Saturday 29 December, the fifth day of Christmas, is the anniversary of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s murder in 1170.

At Canterbury Cathedral the day begins at 8am with the Eucharist celebrated at the Altar of the Sword’s Point on the martyrdom site.

Festal Holy Communion for the Martyrdom of St Thomas of Canterbury is at 12.30pm.

At 3.15 pm Plainsong Choral Evensong includes a procession and dramatic readings from TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral.

Thomas Becket died during the singing of Vespers and this Saturday Vespers is in the crypt at 8pm.

The Thomas Becket Eucharist on Saturday at Southwark Cathedral is at 9.15am, Winchester Cathedral at 9.30am and Rochester Cathedral at 9am.

And of course there are many other celebrations including those at Mottola in Italy and Layana in Spain where Becket is the patron saint.

Meanwhile, at 2.30pm BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting version of The Canterbury Tales supposedly staged by the inhabitants of Ambridge.

A pub sign on the Pilgrims’ Way copied from a Canterbury Cathedral window

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