Mosaic on the facade of Bremen Cathedral showing the crucifixion of Christ - Photo: © Joaquim Alves Gaspar, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Passiontide at Merton

"The Passiontide Festival at Merton College, Oxford, remains one of the treasures among musical events heralding Easter. Its choir is now rightly famed as one of the best in Oxford and Cambridge." - Church Times

The Passiontide at Merton 2024 Festival will run from March 22nd-24th 


The festival

“an unmissable event on Oxford’s musical calendar”
BBC Music Magazine

A three-day festival of concerts, talks and services, the annual Passiontide at Merton festival is a highlight of Oxford's musical year.

The first Passiontide at Merton festival took place in 2010. The festival has become a popular musical and liturgical event, attracting a large following, with many visitors staying in the College for the duration of the festival. The festival usually takes place over the Palm Sunday weekend.

Although the resident College Choir is the featured ensemble, visiting performers have included The Tallis Scholars, The Marian Consort, Oxford Baroque, Carducci Quartet, Emma Kirkby, and Elin Manahan Thomas. A number of works have been premièred at the festival, including Gabriel Jackson’s The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and Emily Levy’s In Paradisum.

Festival tickets

    2023 Tickets

    Single room for one guest £460 | Twin room for two guests £780 including:

    • Tickets and reserved seats for all festival events
    • Breakfast, lunch, and the Festival dinner on Saturday
    • Breakfast and lunch on Sunday
    • A drinks reception with the artists on Sunday evening

    Non-residential festival tickets:

    £225 including:

    • Tickets and reserved seats for all festival events
    • Lunch and the festival dinner on Saturday 
    • Lunch on Sunday
    • A drinks reception with the artists on Sunday evening
    Services 2024

    Friday 22 March

    17.00                      Choral Evensong

                                    Arvo Part  Magnificat

                                    Byrd  Civitas sancti tui

                                    Choir of Merton College

                                    Benjamin Nicholas conductor

    Saturday 23 March

    11.00                     Choral Matins

                                  Stanford  Benedictus in C

                                  Bairstow  The Lamentation 

                                  Girl Choristers and Lower Voices

                                  Benjamin Nicholas conductor    

    18.00                     Choral Evensong

                                  Rubbra   Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A flat

                                  Howells   Requiem

                                  Choir of Merton College

                                  Benjamin Nicholas conductor

    21.30                     Compline

                                  Choir of Merton College

                                  Owen Chan conductor

    Sunday 24 March

    10.30                     Procession and Sung Eucharist for Palm Sunday

                                  Orlando Gibbons Hosanna to the Son of David

                                  Rubbra  Missa Sancti Dominici

                                  William Byrd  Ave verum corpus

    Concerts 2024

    Friday 22 March

    13.15                     Matthew Martin plays Bach

    19.30                     The Cardinal's Musick: Spem in alium


    Saturday 23 March

    14.00                     Biber's Rosary Sonatas II

                                  Bojan Cicic, Violin

    Sunday 24 March

    17.00                    Arvo Part's Passio

                                 Choir of Merton College

                                 Owen Chan conducto