Take part in Holy Week events

This year's Holy Week will be marked with events around Scotland including two Passion Plays, daily reflections and a special organ recital.

Jesus and followers performed by Drama Kirk
Drama Kirk will perform 'I am with you always' on Good Friday in the centre of Hamilton.

Drama Kirk will be holding their first large-scale public performance since the pandemic on Good Friday (15 April) at 2pm in Castle Street in the centre of Hamilton.

Director Liz Blackman said the group, who will once again be performing a Passion Play, are "delighted to return bringing Easter to life on the street in Hamilton".

"This year's script 'I Am With You Always' has been specially created for Drama Kirk by Scottish playwright Simon McCallum who has written extensively for Scottish theatre and BBC Scotland's River City," she explains.

"It presents the story through the eyes of Mary Magdalene and someone she meets on Palm Sunday, as they welcome Jesus to Jerusalem.

"Who this mysterious man turns out to be is only revealed towards the end of the play but, like everyone in this story of redemption, he is changed through his encounter with Jesus.

"The cast are drawn from local churches who are delighted to demonstrate their faith through this public performance."

On Saturday 16, the Edinburgh Passion Play will be staged at 2pm in West Princes Street Gardens and likewise will mark the group's return since the pandemic.

The performance of 'Hope Rises' will imagine the cast as a group of displaced people who arrive in a foreign city with only what they can carry and their stories.

In light of this, the Edinburgh Passion Play team is encouraging donations to help Ukraine, as well to as local charities.

Director Suzanne Lofthus said: "Just after we started rehearsing, the crisis in Afghanistan happened and images of displaced people fleeing oppression were, once again, all over the news.

"Then the invasion of the Ukraine happened. We were doing an exercise in rehearsal where we imagined what we would take from our homes if all we could take was a backpack.

"Then, in the next few days, we were seeing people leaving Ukraine who had to do exactly that.

"Hope Rises is a fast-paced production, telling the Easter story in a modern and vibrant manner.

"Set against the backdrop of the refugee crisis, the story is as relevant now as it has ever been.

"It is about hope, and the world needs hope now as much as it ever did."

Organ recital

On Wednesday 13 April at 7pm, Bellshill Central Parish Church will host an in-person performance by David Fisher of 'Holy Week Organ Meditations' raising money for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Ukraine.

Through the pandemic, the church has also produced more than 90 editions of 'The Organist Entertains', which have been online recitals aiming to keep people connected with their church building during a difficult time.

Daily reflections

During Lent, Rev Richard Buckley, the minister of Trinity Possil and Henry Drummond Parish Church, has worked with fellow ministers across the Church of Scotland to present a series of 'Thought for the Day' style videos.

Entitled 'Stepping stones from Creation to the cross', the videos have focussed on the significance of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. You can watch their Holy Week videos on the Stepping Stones YouTube channel.

Church of Scotland partner organisation Christian Aid has created a series of Lent podcasts that will culminate this Holy Week.

'Walking Humbly', presented by Wendy Lloyd, Christian Aid's faith communications coordinator is available on most podcast platforms or visit the Christian Aid website.