To mark her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen handed out money to people from all of the UK's 44 Christian dioceses.
Usually, the Maundy money is given to people from a single diocese.
But this year, 86 women and 86 men - one for each of the Queen's 86 years - received the money in recognition of their services to the Church and their communities.
The royal party was greeted with rapturous applause and cheering as they emerged on to the steps of the Minster following the hour-long service.
The Dean of York, The Very Reverend Keith Jones, said the Queen had specifically requested that this year's service was a large one reflecting the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee.