Church of Scotland to mark Holy Week with prayers and events

This Holy Week everyone is invited to take part in a series of specially created online events including daily reflections with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and a spirit-filled Easter service.

All of the reflections can be found on a dedicated page on the Church website as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

Journeying with John to the Cross, Holy Week 2021 - Palm Sunday

Join the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Reverend Dr Martin Fair as he embarks on a journey with the words of John's Gospel throughout Holy Week 2021. The Moderator invites friends to read scripture and pray as he offers a thought for the journey and space for reflection and contemplation with music to help you prayerfully pause and ponder your own journey.

Copyright Info: Music includes "Bless the Lord" from the album 'Laudate omnes gentes' and "Glory to God In the Highest (Gloria Deo)" from the album 'Joy on Earth', Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, used with permission.

Beginning on Palm Sunday (28 March) and continuing until Easter Sunday, each morning at 8am on the Church of Scotland website and Facebook page there will be a Bible reading, contemplative music, prayer and a short reflection from Rev Dr Martin Fair and others from across the breadth of the church.

The morning reflections will also be able to be listened to on the phone by dialling 0333 340 9200 (calls will be charged at a local rate).

Hamilton-based theatre group Drama Kirk have also filmed a new version of their annual Passion Play, which will be available to watch on the Church of Scotland website.

Dr Fair said: 'We've been working our way towards Easter and I very much hope that these resources will enable people to finish the journey with a special Holy Week experience for us all to share in.

"Though some churches will be open by then, others will remain closed but either way, we want to celebrate Easter in a positive and meaningful way."

Drama Kirk's production of 'With Arms Wide Open' by Peggy Barnell, which tells the Easter story from Luke's perspective as he hears first-hand accounts from those changed by Jesus, will available online from 2pm on Saturday 3 April.

Carefully filmed following coronavirus safety guidelines, the roles of Jesus and Luke are played by professional actors, and the play, which has never been performed in Scotland before, will be free to view via the Church of Scotland website.

Director Liz Blackman said: "We needed a script for this year that was quite different to anything we had performed in the past - something short, which could easily be adapted to social distancing, with a small number of people in each scene.

"I was delighted to find 'With Arms Wide Open'. The script has a fresh approach. We see Luke discover how Jesus changed people - and we hear his views on what many of Jesus' teachings meant. For us, this feels like a much more direct way of sharing the Gospel story. The main characters get to share their own story."

The week will culminate in a full online church service on Easter Sunday (4 April), which will be available on Easter Sunday from 9am again on the Church of Scotland website.

St Columba's Church of Scotland in London will release portraits and interviews with Christian chaplains on their website during Holy Week by the photographer Louise Haywood Scheiffer from her project 'Keeping the faith: London chaplains in the time of Covid'.

They are also partnering with Rev Christopher Rowe of Colston Milton Parish Church in Glasgow, who is providing weekly reflections during Lent.