Celebrate with the Church of Scotland
By Laura Crawford
Easter may not look the same this year as it has in years gone by at your local church, but people across the length and breadth of the Kirk are working hard to ensure that we’re all still able to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as we approach Easter Sunday. Here are just some of the ways you can stay connected with us over the Easter weekend.
During the day, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, will offer a pre-recorded reflection which will be available on the Church of Scotland YouTube channel and on the Moderator’s Facebook page.
From 3:15pm on Good Friday, Drama Kirk, a theatre group who aim to ‘bring the Gospel to life through drama in Lanarkshire’, will be broadcasting their one-hour Passion Play, entitled ‘The Passion of Jesus’, on Hamilton Old Parish Church’s YouTube channel.
In previous years, Drama Kirk’s Passion Play was staged across five towns in Lanarkshire during Holy Week and ending on Good Friday, but it is hoped that people from across Scotland – and beyond – will tune in for the performance.
Liz Blackman, who produces the Hamilton Passion Play, said: “Those who join us will see a depiction of the final week of Jesus’ earthly life, from Bethany to the Resurrection.
“We had to make some cuts along the way as our large cast reduced in size but – thankfully – we are still able to share this important story.
“Our wish is that our performance would bring light and hope to many. We may be in our homes; but it is still Easter and we can still come together as a community and experience the gospel story afresh.”
‘The Passion of Jesus’ will be broadcast for a second time on Easter Saturday from 2:30pm.
Drama Kirk hopes to have British Sign Language interpretation during the Easter Saturday performance.
Elsewhere on Good Friday, Rev Dr Robin Hill, minister for Gladsmuir and Longniddry parish churches in East Lothian and member of the much-loved Church of Scotland Heart & Soul Swing Band, will be broadcasting ‘The Internet Passion’; an hour-long combination of Bible readings, music and narration.
Its purpose is to present St Mark’s account of Holy Week in a new light.
The original intention had been to mark Good Friday with a large-scale event with the 20-piece Heart & Soul Swing Band, combining Bible readings, dramatic narrations and an original set of 12-bar blues instrumentals, entitled ‘The Blues Passion’, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their plans.
Now, Robin has come up with creative high-tech ways of combining contributions from a variety of musicians, sound engineers, singers and church members.
“It’s been quite a journey,” said Robin.
“Everyone involved in creating ‘The Internet Passion’ hopes that listeners near and far will feel part of a wider congregation as, together, we walk the way of Jesus through the story of Holy Week.”
‘The Internet Passion’ will be made available on Good Friday on the Longniddry Parish Church website but is already available to view on YouTube.
On the morning of Easter Sunday, Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, pictured with FM Nicola Sturgeon and the Duke of Buccleuch at the General Assembly, will deliver a video sermon and prayers, which will be available from 7:30am on the Church of Scotland Facebook page as well as on the Church of Scotland YouTube channel.
At 12pm on Easter Sunday, BBC One Scotland’s ‘Reflections at the Quay’ will offer a half-hour televised ecumenical service featuring Rt Rev Colin Sinclair and Archbishop Leo Cushley, pictured right.. You can catch up with the last episode on BBC iPlayer.
On the evening of Easter Sunday, Christians are invited to join in prayer at 7pm. We will be providing a prayer in both English and Gaelic which will be available from Friday evening on the Church of Scotland website.
Many local churches across the Church of Scotland will also be streaming their Easter Sunday worship services online.For a list of some of those who are regularly streaming services through video, audio or catch-up, please visit our Kirk Services Online web page.