BBC One is ramping things up this Easter with a host of religious TV programmes that include drama, music, reflections and worship. Take a look below and make sure you get your TV schedule organised!
David Suchet: In The Footsteps of St Peter
Following on from BBC One’s previous series, In the Footsteps of St Paul, David Suchet journeys through first century Galilee, Jerusalem, Turkey and Rome, this time in search of Jesus’ closest confidant and Apostle, St Peter.
David’s quest: to discover how a lowly fisherman from the shores of Lake Galilee transforms into lead disciple, and eventually the figure which the Roman Catholic Church have seen for the last 2,000 years as the first Pope and Bishop of Rome.
David seeks out the man behind the controversial figure of St Peter as he carves out his identity as both leader and often flawed believer, through the highs and lows of the earliest days of Christianity.
The Ark – a one off drama for BBC One, starring David Threlfall (Noah), Joanne Whalley (Emmie), Nico Mirallegro (Kenan), Ashley Walters (God’s Angel), Emily Bevan (Salit), Michael Fox (Shem), Andrew Hawley (Japeth), Hannah Johm-Kamen (Nahlab) and Ian Smith (Ham). It is the retelling of the biblical story of Noah and The Ark. Noah, a farmer and family man, is instructed by an angel to build an ark in the middle of a desert in order to save both his family and the faithful from a devastating flood. A seemingly impossible task, especially when his sons refuse to believe him and help, Noah risks ridicule and humiliation from the degenerate townsfolk as well as his loving but exasperated family, in his quest to carry out his God-given task.
The Ark is a timeless tale; a story of family and faith; about one man’s belief and fixation with building the ark which will ultimately save his family and mankind. It is an obsession which leads to the fragmentation of his family, a test of their faith in their father and their father’s faith in God and everything he believes in.
Songs of Praise
Songs of Praise dedicates both its Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday editions to Easter.
On Palm Sunday (29 March), Aled Jones visits Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral to see how the city is planning to mark Holy Week and previews the Cathedral’s Passion play ‘Whom Do You Seek?’ He also joins the Cathedral ringers to find out the secret of sounding the thirteen bells that peal over the city, including ‘Great George’, which weighs fourteen and a half tons. It’s bigger than Big Ben and second in size only to ‘Great Paul’ in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
On Easter Sunday (5 April), in recognition of the lamb as an enduring religious symbol and an announcement of Spring, David Grant introduces Songs of Praise from a farm in West Sussex where around 1,400 lambs are born every year. David is hoping to witness one of those births. Bordering Coombes Farm in Lancing is a 1,000-year-old church – and religion and farming come together for the traditional ‘blessing of the lambs’ ceremony. Also, the programme joins an open air baptism on the banks of the River Jordan. But this River Jordan is in Dorset, not that of Biblical fame.
Live Easter Sunday – from Manchester Cathedral
Live Easter Morning service from the magnificent setting of Manchester Cathedral. Uplifting hymns and inspiring music combine with traditional readings and prayers to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The music will also include excerpts from Mozart’s Coronation Mass. The service will be led by the Revd Canon Philip Barratt, Precentor of Manchester Cathedral with a sermon from the Bishop of Bolton, the Right Revd Chris Edmondson.
Urbi et Orbi
Pope Francis gives his Easter Sunday Message and Blessing, Urbi et Orbi, to the city of Rome and to the world. From the balcony on St Peter’s Basilica, the Pope will address a huge crowd in the square below, but his words will resonate far beyond. Mike Wooldridge sets the scene and provides live commentary.