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An Easter parade of programmes from BBC Religion & Ethics

Category: Factual & Arts TV; Radio

Date: 28.03.2006
Printable version

The most significant event in the Christian calendar is celebrated with a range of BBC programming this Easter.


It takes viewers and listeners from traditional worship through to a modern interpretation of the Passion of Christ; a forensic examination of history's most noteworthy religious paintings and an emotional return to the communities blighted by the Balkan War.


Live from Manchester city centre on Good Friday, Keith Allen presents a contemporary re-telling of the last few hours of Jesus' life for BBC THREE.


Manchester Passion builds on the rich tradition of the Passion Plays by telling the Easter story through the music of Manchester, including classic sounds such as New Order's Blue Monday and Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by The Smiths.


In The Private Life of An Easter Masterpiece on BBC TWO, three great paintings - The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci; Salvador Dali's The Christ of St John of the Cross and Resurrection by Piero della Francesca - are forensically examined and explained.


Each programme shows how particular techniques have been mastered by the artist, how complex ideas are conveyed to the viewer and how each work is a unique reflection of its own life and times.


BBC Radio 4 pulls no punches with Redeeming the Past, as peace campaigner Rev Donald Reeves revisits the fractured communities of Northern Bosnia in search of threads of hope from the darkest moments of war.


Drawing on first hand accounts from the conflict's survivors, the programme highlights the power of forgiveness to transform lives in the wake of tragedy.


For most people, the loss of a child is unthinkable. In a very personal testimony Rev Julie Nicholson, Anglican priest and mother of one of the victims of the July London bombings, describes how her inability to forgive her daughter's killers led to her resigning her living.


In Every Parent's Nightmare (BBC ONE), Julie reflects on whether the Passion of Christ holds any comfort or inspiration for parents in difficult times.


In The Cross and the Bomb (Good Friday Liturgy on Radio 4) the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, reflects on religious conflict in the context of Jesus' Passion on the Cross.


The programme comes from St Ethelburga's - the medieval city church nearly destroyed by the Bishopsgate bomb in 1993 and rebuilt as an innovative Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.


Set against the backdrop of the recent terrorist attacks in London, this is a powerful and thought-provoking meditation.


Greater Love Hath No Man (BBC ONE) explores the impact of the Great Plague on one small village in Derbyshire.


The plague was transported to Eyam from London in 1665 and claimed its first victim soon after.


As the devastating disease took hold, the villagers isolated themselves to protect the surrounding village communities.


Their self-sacrifice saved thousands of lives and is a fitting theme for Good Friday.


But miracles are not reserved for ancient times. Stories of unexplained healings and phenomena still persist, even in this scientific and sceptical age.


In Modern Miracles on BBC Radio 2, Roger Bolton talks to those who believe they have experienced a miracle and asks whether they are a sign of God's presence or a clever fraud.


In Holy Week, Belief on BBC Radio 3 features a range of guests discussing their individual ideas on life's big questions.


In five separate programmes, presenter Joan Bakewell talks to psychologist and scientist Sue Blackmore; Navnit Dholakia, Liberal Democrat MP; philosopher Mary Warnock; Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal; and Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster.


Music always plays a central role in BBC religious programming and there is a wide-ranging selection for Easter.


In Radio 2's At The Foot of the Cross, Aled Jones leads the congregation of St Paul's Cathedral in a meditation on the journey to the Cross which includes a performance of John Rutter's contemporary Requiem.


Sunday Half Hour on Radio 2 is broadcast on both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday with Roger Royle introducing those hymns which reflect the story of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his ultimate Resurrection.


Naturally Easter Sunday would not be complete without a rousing edition of popular favourite Songs of Praise (BBC ONE) where the congregation of Lincoln Cathedral celebrates Christ is risen.


Traditional worship programmes commemorating the significant events in the Easter calendar can be found throughout the schedule.


On BBC ONE, the Easter Sunday Service comes live from the Spring Harvest festival in Minehead and includes Easter favourites How Great Thou Art and Thine Be the Glory.


On Radio 4, the mystery of the empty tomb is evoked in words and music in the Easter Sunrise Service with the York Chapter House Choir.


York Minster is also the venue for Radio 4's Sunday Worship for Easter as the Most Rev Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, joins the congregation of the thriving church of St-Michael-le-Belfry for an Easter communion service.


Finally, live from St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI gives the traditional Easter message and blessing Urbi et Orbi - 'to the city and to the world'.


Transmission details


Palm Sunday (Sunday 9 April)


The Heaven and Earth Show, BBC ONE, 10.00-11.00am

Sunday Half Hour, Radio 2, 8.30-9.00pm


Monday 10 April


Every Parent's Nightmare, BBC ONE, 11.15pm-12.05am

Belief, Radio 3, 9.45-10.15pm


Tuesday 11 April


Modern Miracles, Radio 2, 8.30-9.30pm

Belief, Radio 3, 9.45-10.15pm


Wednesday 12 April


Belief, Radio 3, 9.45-10.15pm


Thursday 13 April


The Private Life of An Easter Masterpiece - The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, BBC TWO, 7.00-8.00pm

Belief, Radio 3, 9.45-10.15pm


Good Friday (Friday 14 April)


Manchester Passion, BBC THREE, 9.00-10.00pm

The Private Life of An Easter Masterpiece - Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali, BBC TWO, 7.00-8.00 pm

Greater Love Hath No Man, BBC ONE, 10.00-11.00 am

Redeeming the Past, Radio 4, 3.30-4.00pm

The Cross and the Bomb - Good Friday Liturgy, Radio 4, 3.00-3.30pm

At The Foot of the Cross, Radio 2, 9.30-10.30pm

Belief, Radio 3, 9.30-10.00pm


Easter Sunday (Sunday 16 April)


Easter Sunday Service, BBC ONE, 10.00-11.00am

Songs of Praise, BBC ONE, time tbc

Urbi et Orbi, BBC ONE, time tbc

Sunday Worship for Easter, Radio 4, 08.10-09.00am

Easter Sunrise Service, Radio 4, 6.35-6.57am

Sunday Half Hour - Easter Glory, Radio 2, 8.03-9.00pm


Easter Monday (Monday 17 April)


The Private Life of An Easter Masterpiece - The Resurrection by Piero Della Francesca, BBC TWO, 7.00-8.00pm.






Category: Factual & Arts TV; Radio

Date: 28.03.2006
Printable version


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