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Landmark Sermons for Holy Week by Rhidian Brook

15 Mar, 2024

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‘Notes on an Execution’ (Reports from the last days of Jesus)

Landmark Sermons for Holy Week by Rhidian Brook

In a special sermon series for Holy Week at York Minster, award-winning writer and broadcaster, Rhidian Brook, will lead us through the last days of Jesus.

Beginning on Palm Sunday (24 March), Rhidian will be giving a sermon on each day of Holy Week. He will cover the events from Jesus’s entry to Jerusalem through to The Last Supper, via Jesus’s brilliant and confrontational teaching in The Temple. On Good Friday (29 March), Rhidian will give two meditations and a main sermon on the crucifixion. He will complete the series with a final sermon on Easter Eve (30 March).

Rhidian said: “I want us to follow Jesus from his arrival in Jerusalem to his execution, to be contemporary to the moment as reported, by trying to imagine the events unfolding as though for the first time, in real time, without relying on the after-the-event wisdom that we carry.

“I want to help us imagine being a follower, not always knowing what comes next, or how it ends, and without possessing the weight or comfort of the theological or cultural understanding that has gathered the far side of history – and the far side of His Story. I am putting my trust in the gospel accounts – Mark in particular – and any inspiration that the Holy Spirit may give.”

The Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York said: “I am enormously excited to welcome Rhidian to York Minster. For a quarter of a century, he has inspired many people around the country with his Thoughts for the Day on Radio 4, and we are uniquely privileged that he will be helping to bring the events of Holy Week to life in this sermon series.”

All are welcome to attend Rhidian’s sermons, which will be given at the following services:

Sunday 24 March – Palm Sunday – ‘Coronation’
10.30am: Procession with donkeys followed by Eucharist for Palm Sunday

Monday 25 March – ‘Confrontation’
12:30pm: Holy Communion
7.30pm: Compline

Tuesday 26 March – ‘Interrogation’
7.30pm: Compline

Wednesday 27 March – ‘Anointing’
12:30pm: Holy Communion
7.30pm: Compline

Thursday 28 March – Maundy Thursday – ‘Parting’
7pm: Eucharist of the Last Supper for Maundy Thursday

Friday 29 March – Good Friday – Three Meditations: ‘Noise’, ‘Silence’, ‘Execution’
12noon: The Three Hours’ Devotion
1.30pm: The Liturgy of Good Friday

Saturday 30 March – Easter Eve – ‘Encounter’
8pm: The Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter.

Biographical details – Rhidian Brook
Rhidian Brook is an award-winning writer of fiction, television drama and film. His first novel, The Testimony of Taliesin Jones (1996) won several prizes, including the Somerset Maugham Award and was adapted for a film starring Jonathan Pryce. His third novel, The Aftermath (2013) was an international bestseller and translated into 25 languages; he co-wrote the film adaptation that starred Keira Knightley. He wrote an original screenplay for the BBC drama, Mr Harvey Lights A Candle, starring Timothy Spall, was a writer on two seasons of Silent Witness and wrote the original screenplay of the Pathe film, Africa United.  He is currently adapting his most recent novel – The Killing of Butterfly Joe – for film. He has been a regular contributor to the BBC Radio 4’s Thought For The Day for 20 years. A collection of his Thoughts, entitled Godbothering, was published in March 2020.

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