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. View the brochure here. Click individual events in the list below to book concert tickets. Scroll down for Full Festival Tickets.


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

2024 Tickets are now sold out!

Single room for one guest £485 | Twin room for two guests £795 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:

£230 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

                                Nunc Dimittis  Lukaszewski

                                Svyati  Tavener   

                                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

                              Francois Cloete  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

                             Benjamin Nicholas conductor