Good Friday Meditation

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20140418Archbishop John Sentamu offers a personal meditation upon the crucifixion of Christ through the sounds, stories and situations he finds as he walks around the historic city of York, on this the most solemn day of the Christian year. As well as the people he encounters, prayer, and readings from the passion narrative with stunning music recorded by the Choir of York Minster, all help to tell the story.

His focus is to see the events of that day through the power of the mob, both then and now. Throughout Jesus' final hours, crowds play a significant role in the story. A crowd is led by Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest his friend. Hours later, given the opportunity to release Jesus, a crowd instead bays for his blood. And, as Jesus journeys through the streets with his cross, the Roman guard is there to hold the people back as emotions soar.

An angry crowd needs a victim, one who is different, somehow deficient or offensive, untouchable. Such situations resonate with the victimised and marginalised around the world today, including some whom the Archbishop himself has sought to defend here in the UK, and in parts of Africa.

Crowds have always had the power to draw bystanders into a maelstrom of destructive behaviour. As he travels around York, Archbishop Sentamu explores the story of Clifford's Tower which, in 1190, was the scene of one of the medieval period's most notorious pogroms in the UK when 150 Jews were massacred.

Producer: Simon Vivian.

Archbishop John Sentamu offers a personal meditation upon the crucifixion of Christ through the sounds, stories and situations he finds as he walks around the historic city of York, on this the most solemn day of the Christian year. As well as the people he encounters, prayer, and readings from the passion narrative with stunning music recorded by the Choir of York Minster, all help to tell the story.

His focus is to see the events of that day through the power of the mob, both then and now. Throughout Jesus' final hours, crowds play a significant role in the story. A crowd is led by Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest his friend. Hours later, given the opportunity to release Jesus, a crowd instead bays for his blood. And, as Jesus journeys through the streets with his cross, the Roman guard is there to hold the people back as emotions soar.

An angry crowd needs a victim, one who is different, somehow deficient or offensive, untouchable. Such situations resonate with the victimised and marginalised around the world today, including some whom the Archbishop himself has sought to defend here in the UK, and in parts of Africa.

Crowds have always had the power to draw bystanders into a maelstrom of destructive behaviour. As he travels around York, Archbishop Sentamu explores the story of Clifford's Tower which, in 1190, was the scene of one of the medieval period's most notorious pogroms in the UK when 150 Jews were massacred.

Producer: Simon Vivian.

Archbishop John Sentamu offers a personal meditation upon the crucifixion of Christ through the sounds, stories and situations he finds as he walks around the historic city of York, on this the most solemn day of the Christian year. As well as the people he encounters, prayer, and readings from the passion narrative with stunning music recorded by the Choir of York Minster, all help to tell the story.

His focus is to see the events of that day through the power of the mob, both then and now. Throughout Jesus' final hours, crowds play a significant role in the story. A crowd is led by Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest his friend. Hours later, given the opportunity to release Jesus, a crowd instead bays for his blood. And, as Jesus journeys through the streets with his cross, the Roman guard is there to hold the people back as emotions soar.

An angry crowd needs a victim, one who is different, somehow deficient or offensive, untouchable. Such situations resonate with the victimised and marginalised around the world today, including some whom the Archbishop himself has sought to defend here in the UK, and in parts of Africa.

Crowds have always had the power to draw bystanders into a maelstrom of destructive behaviour. As he travels around York, Archbishop Sentamu explores the story of Clifford's Tower which, in 1190, was the scene of one of the medieval period's most notorious pogroms in the UK when 150 Jews were massacred.

Producer: Simon Vivian.

Archbishop John Sentamu offers a personal meditation upon the crucifixion of Christ through the sounds, stories and situations he finds as he walks around the historic city of York, on this the most solemn day of the Christian year. As well as the people he encounters, prayer, and readings from the passion narrative with stunning music recorded by the Choir of York Minster, all help to tell the story.

His focus is to see the events of that day through the power of the mob, both then and now. Throughout Jesus' final hours, crowds play a significant role in the story. A crowd is led by Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest his friend. Hours later, given the opportunity to release Jesus, a crowd instead bays for his blood. And, as Jesus journeys through the streets with his cross, the Roman guard is there to hold the people back as emotions soar.

An angry crowd needs a victim, one who is different, somehow deficient or offensive, untouchable. Such situations resonate with the victimised and marginalised around the world today, including some whom the Archbishop himself has sought to defend here in the UK, and in parts of Africa.

Crowds have always had the power to draw bystanders into a maelstrom of destructive behaviour. As he travels around York, Archbishop Sentamu explores the story of Clifford's Tower which, in 1190, was the scene of one of the medieval period's most notorious pogroms in the UK when 150 Jews were massacred.

Producer: Simon Vivian.

Archbishop John Sentamu offers a personal meditation upon the crucifixion of Christ through the sounds, stories and situations he finds as he walks around the historic city of York, on this the most solemn day of the Christian year. As well as the people he encounters, prayer, and readings from the passion narrative with stunning music recorded by the Choir of York Minster, all help to tell the story.

His focus is to see the events of that day through the power of the mob, both then and now. Throughout Jesus' final hours, crowds play a significant role in the story. A crowd is led by Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest his friend. Hours later, given the opportunity to release Jesus, a crowd instead bays for his blood. And, as Jesus journeys through the streets with his cross, the Roman guard is there to hold the people back as emotions soar.

An angry crowd needs a victim, one who is different, somehow deficient or offensive, untouchable. Such situations resonate with the victimised and marginalised around the world today, including some whom the Archbishop himself has sought to defend here in the UK, and in parts of Africa.

Crowds have always had the power to draw bystanders into a maelstrom of destructive behaviour. As he travels around York, Archbishop Sentamu explores the story of Clifford's Tower which, in 1190, was the scene of one of the medieval period's most notorious pogroms in the UK when 150 Jews were massacred.

Producer: Simon Vivian.

20150403To lay down your life for others; we're told there is no greater love than this, and that's the subject of the Good Friday Meditation. 350 years ago, when the Plague tore through the community of Eyam in Derbyshire, the villagers' first instinct was to flee - but their agreement with their local clergy's brave decision that all should stay - keeping the plague within the village - probably saved thousands of lives throughout the North of England...

Just last year, self-imposed isolation was also the choice of British doctor, Dr Nathalie MacDermott. She was unsure whether she was incubating the deadly Ebola virus already contracted by two close medical colleagues in Liberia. Emerging from a lonely confinement, at least safe in the knowledge that she did not have the virus - this time - she returned to Liberia for a third tour of duty, struggling to bring care and comfort to communities that have lost thousands to this modern-day plague. Guided by the present Rector of Eyam, the Revd Mike Gilbert, she hears heart-rending stories of this historic sacrifice at locations around the village; but also how genetic research on descendants of Eyam's plague survivors is bringing hope to fight both plague and HIV in the world today. With music and readings illustrating the timeless story of Good Friday, presenter Dr Nathalie McDermott shares her own Christian perspective of why she, too, is still prepared to risk her life for strangers. Reader: Robert Lindsay. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

To lay down your life for others; we're told there is no greater love than this, and that's the subject of the Good Friday Meditation. 350 years ago, when the Plague tore through the community of Eyam in Derbyshire, the villagers' first instinct was to flee - but their agreement with their local clergy's brave decision that all should stay - keeping the plague within the village - probably saved thousands of lives throughout the North of England...

Just last year, self-imposed isolation was also the choice of British doctor, Dr Nathalie MacDermott. She was unsure whether she was incubating the deadly Ebola virus already contracted by two close medical colleagues in Liberia. Emerging from a lonely confinement, at least safe in the knowledge that she did not have the virus - this time - she returned to Liberia for a third tour of duty, struggling to bring care and comfort to communities that have lost thousands to this modern-day plague. Guided by the present Rector of Eyam, the Revd Mike Gilbert, she hears heart-rending stories of this historic sacrifice at locations around the village; but also how genetic research on descendants of Eyam's plague survivors is bringing hope to fight both plague and HIV in the world today. With music and readings illustrating the timeless story of Good Friday, presenter Dr Nathalie McDermott shares her own Christian perspective of why she, too, is still prepared to risk her life for strangers. Reader: Robert Lindsay. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

To lay down your life for others; we're told there is no greater love than this, and that's the subject of the Good Friday Meditation. 350 years ago, when the Plague tore through the community of Eyam in Derbyshire, the villagers' first instinct was to flee - but their agreement with their local clergy's brave decision that all should stay - keeping the plague within the village - probably saved thousands of lives throughout the North of England...

Just last year, self-imposed isolation was also the choice of British doctor, Dr Nathalie MacDermott. She was unsure whether she was incubating the deadly Ebola virus already contracted by two close medical colleagues in Liberia. Emerging from a lonely confinement, at least safe in the knowledge that she did not have the virus - this time - she returned to Liberia for a third tour of duty, struggling to bring care and comfort to communities that have lost thousands to this modern-day plague. Guided by the present Rector of Eyam, the Revd Mike Gilbert, she hears heart-rending stories of this historic sacrifice at locations around the village; but also how genetic research on descendants of Eyam's plague survivors is bringing hope to fight both plague and HIV in the world today. With music and readings illustrating the timeless story of Good Friday, presenter Dr Nathalie McDermott shares her own Christian perspective of why she, too, is still prepared to risk her life for strangers. Reader: Robert Lindsay. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

To lay down your life for others; we're told there is no greater love than this, and that's the subject of the Good Friday Meditation. 350 years ago, when the Plague tore through the community of Eyam in Derbyshire, the villagers' first instinct was to flee - but their agreement with their local clergy's brave decision that all should stay - keeping the plague within the village - probably saved thousands of lives throughout the North of England...

Just last year, self-imposed isolation was also the choice of British doctor, Dr Nathalie MacDermott. She was unsure whether she was incubating the deadly Ebola virus already contracted by two close medical colleagues in Liberia. Emerging from a lonely confinement, at least safe in the knowledge that she did not have the virus - this time - she returned to Liberia for a third tour of duty, struggling to bring care and comfort to communities that have lost thousands to this modern-day plague. Guided by the present Rector of Eyam, the Revd Mike Gilbert, she hears heart-rending stories of this historic sacrifice at locations around the village; but also how genetic research on descendants of Eyam's plague survivors is bringing hope to fight both plague and HIV in the world today. With music and readings illustrating the timeless story of Good Friday, presenter Dr Nathalie McDermott shares her own Christian perspective of why she, too, is still prepared to risk her life for strangers. Reader: Robert Lindsay. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

To lay down your life for others; we're told there is no greater love than this, and that's the subject of the Good Friday Meditation. 350 years ago, when the Plague tore through the community of Eyam in Derbyshire, the villagers' first instinct was to flee - but their agreement with their local clergy's brave decision that all should stay - keeping the plague within the village - probably saved thousands of lives throughout the North of England...

Just last year, self-imposed isolation was also the choice of British doctor, Dr Nathalie MacDermott. She was unsure whether she was incubating the deadly Ebola virus already contracted by two close medical colleagues in Liberia. Emerging from a lonely confinement, at least safe in the knowledge that she did not have the virus - this time - she returned to Liberia for a third tour of duty, struggling to bring care and comfort to communities that have lost thousands to this modern-day plague. Guided by the present Rector of Eyam, the Revd Mike Gilbert, she hears heart-rending stories of this historic sacrifice at locations around the village; but also how genetic research on descendants of Eyam's plague survivors is bringing hope to fight both plague and HIV in the world today. With music and readings illustrating the timeless story of Good Friday, presenter Dr Nathalie McDermott shares her own Christian perspective of why she, too, is still prepared to risk her life for strangers. Reader: Robert Lindsay. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

20160325
20160325As believers everywhere mark the most solemn moment of the Christian year, and in the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare's death, Canon Mark Oakley meets Shakespearean actor David Bradley, who has played roles and characters the bard has based on The Good, the Bad and the Redeemed. These 'everyman' types of humanity are to be found in the Passion narrative, either on - or at the foot of - Golgotha's three Crosses. At the Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford-upon-Avon, a place close to David's and many RSC actors' hearts, we meet people facing their own deaths - and those who love and care for them. Informed by an understanding of 'what a piece of work' is a man or woman, how we contemplate mortality and eternity is common to us all - and it's something Shakespeare himself understood deeply and intimately within his characters and in his own family. With music reflecting the story of the Passion which is told in the language of the Geneva Bible, the translation to which Shakespeare's own language owed so much; this will be a Good Friday Meditation to remember. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

As believers everywhere mark the most solemn moment of the Christian year, and in the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare's death, Canon Mark Oakley meets Shakespearean actor David Bradley, who has played roles and characters the bard has based on The Good, the Bad and the Redeemed. These 'everyman' types of humanity are to be found in the Passion narrative, either on - or at the foot of - Golgotha's three Crosses. At the Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford-upon-Avon, a place close to David's and many RSC actors' hearts, we meet people facing their own deaths - and those who love and care for them. Informed by an understanding of 'what a piece of work' is a man or woman, how we contemplate mortality and eternity is common to us all - and it's something Shakespeare himself understood deeply and intimately within his characters and in his own family. With music reflecting the story of the Passion which is told in the language of the Geneva Bible, the translation to which Shakespeare's own language owed so much; this will be a Good Friday Meditation to remember. Producer: Rowan Morton-Gledhill.

20160325Canon Mark Oakley reflects on Good Friday in the 400th year since Shakespeare's death.
20170414In the final few days, Jesus knew that that he was going to be crucified. It was a lonely time because those closest to him did not know his fate and, when he needed them most, they deserted him. As the Roman soldiers marched him away, the disciples scattered and Peter even denied knowing him.

But it wasn't just the actual abandonment of his friends but the perceived abandonment by God that intensified Jesus' loneliness.

My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?

The final moments of Christ on the cross ache with abandonment and loneliness and in The Good Friday Meditation, the Rev Lucy Winkett explores these feelings in a 21st century context in conversations with a new mother, a 92 year old woman and a man whose faith has been challenged by his struggle with self-hatred and addiction.

Young mothers can feel isolated as they seek to come to terms with their new responsibilities and say goodbye to their old, independent life. Elderly people often struggle to come to terms with being alone as friends and partners die and children move away. But what about the rest of us struggling with jobs, families and finances? How is it that despite success, wealth and relationships we can feel lonely in the crowd?

Lucy Winkett investigates different types of loneliness and challenges our perceptions of what it means to be alone and asks if this necessarily leads to loneliness.

In the final few days, Jesus knew that that he was going to be crucified. It was a lonely time because those closest to him did not know his fate and, when he needed them most, they deserted him. As the Roman soldiers marched him away, the disciples scattered and Peter even denied knowing him.

But it wasn't just the actual abandonment of his friends but the perceived abandonment by God that intensified Jesus' loneliness.

"My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?"

The final moments of Christ on the cross ache with abandonment and loneliness and in The Good Friday Meditation, the Rev Lucy Winkett explores these feelings in a 21st century context in conversations with a new mother, a 92 year old woman and a man whose faith has been challenged by his struggle with self-hatred and addiction.

Young mothers can feel isolated as they seek to come to terms with their new responsibilities and say goodbye to their old, independent life. Elderly people often struggle to come to terms with being alone as friends and partners die and children move away. But what about the rest of us struggling with jobs, families and finances? How is it that despite success, wealth and relationships we can feel lonely in the crowd?

Lucy Winkett investigates different types of loneliness and challenges our perceptions of what it means to be alone and asks if this necessarily leads to loneliness.

20170414Lucy Winkett explores the loneliness of Jesus on the cross in a 21st-century context.
20180330Good Friday after Grenfell. The Rev Mike Long reflects on the importance of Lament.

Good Friday after Grenfell. The Revd Mike Long reflects on the importance of Lament.

Notting Hill Methodist church stands at the centre of a devastated and grieving community. Mike Long's meditation for Good Friday focuses on the role of public lament. He explores the Jewish traditions of lament, including the cry of dereliction from the Psalms that Jesus called out on the cross. He talks to Jackie Blanchflower, a pastor and former chair of the Residents' Association, about the community's response to the tragedy, and to Jill Baker, Vice President of the Methodist conference for whom lament - and laughter - has become a way of life since the sudden death of her son.

Producer, Rosie Dawson.

20180330Good Friday after Grenfell. The Revd Mike Long reflects on the importance of Lament.

Notting Hill Methodist church stands at the centre of a devastated and grieving community. Mike Long's meditation for Good Friday focuses on the role of public lament. He explores the Jewish traditions of lament, including the cry of dereliction from the Psalms that Jesus called out on the cross. He talks to Jackie Blanchflower, a pastor and former chair of the Residents' Association, about the community's response to the tragedy, and to Jill Baker, Vice President of the Methodist conference for whom lament - and laughter - has become a way of life since the sudden death of her son.

Producer, Rosie Dawson.

Image: Rev. Mike Long with Jackie Blanchflower, Pastor of the Latymer Christian Centre looking at Grenfell Tower tributes. Credit: Samuel Long

Good Friday after Grenfell. The Rev Mike Long reflects on the importance of Lament.

20190419

Why should Good Friday be called Good? Whichever way you look at him, with faith or without, Jesus was an innocent man who died a cruel death. A man who fought injustice and who was in the end denied justice. As with every time an innocent person is slaughtered, this was a bad day in the history of the human family. A good man, who healed the sick and helped the poor, he didn’t deserve to be despised and rejected, to be taunted and laughed to scorn. As he died, out of his troubled soul poured words from the 22nd Psalm: "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?"

In this year's Good Friday Meditation, Bishop James Jones reflects on Psalm 22 through readings, music and personal stories. He talks about how we react to tragedy and those difficult times when we fail to hear the voice of God. And he contemplates the challenge of forgiving someone who has caused us great pain.

Readers:
Jeremy Irons
Maxine Peake

Interviewee:
Gee Walker, the mother of Anthony Walker who was killed by someone with an ice axe.

Producer: Helen Lee

Bishop James Jones with a personal reflection for Good Friday on Psalm 22.

20190419Why should Good Friday be called Good? Whichever way you look at him, with faith or without, Jesus was an innocent man who died a cruel death. A man who fought injustice and who was in the end denied justice. As with every time an innocent person is slaughtered, this was a bad day in the history of the human family. A good man, who healed the sick and helped the poor, he didn’t deserve to be despised and rejected, to be taunted and laughed to scorn. As he died, out of his troubled soul poured words from the 22nd Psalm: "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?"

In this year's Good Friday Meditation, Bishop James Jones reflects on Psalm 22 through readings, music and personal stories. He talks about how we react to tragedy and those difficult times when we fail to hear the voice of God. And he contemplates the challenge of forgiving someone who has caused us great pain.

Readers:
Jeremy Irons
Maxine Peake

Interviewee:
Gee Walker, the mother of Anthony Walker who was killed by someone with an ice axe.

Producer: Helen Lee

Bishop James Jones with a personal reflection for Good Friday on Psalm 22.

20200410The cross is a place and a moment of isolation – on ‘A green hill far away’. At the same time, it stands close to the heart of every Christian believer and community. With worshipping communities scattered, and communal worship impossible – Baptist minister the Revd Richard Littledale asks whether the cross stands further from us or closer to us in current circumstances. Neil McGregor has been enthralled by Salvador Dali’s depiction of the cross since he was a boy. As Director of the National Gallery, he would bring the painting to London as a key element of the Seeing Salvation exhibition, but he believes it speaks into every context even especially our current isolation. Richard also speaks to a medic on the front line of treating the COVID 19 infection and asks, when sickness, and even death loom larger to all of us, whether they think the cross seems closer to us or further away? Producer: Andrew Earis.

Music

There is a green hill far away (from St John Passion) - Bob Chilcott
Sung by St Martin’s Voices (BBC recording)

Crucifixus - Lotti
Sung by Tenebrae (CD: Allegri Miserere - Signum)

Libera me from Faure’s Requiem
Sung by Sir Thomas Allen and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (CD: Faure Requiem - Classic FM The Full Works)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sung by Williard White (CD: Copland - Old American Songs - Chandos)

Lux aurumque - Eric Whitacre
Sung by the Eric Whitacre Singers (CD: Light and Gold - Decca)

The Lamb - John Tavener
Sung by Tenebrae (CD: Allegri Miserere - Signum)

Baptist minister Richard Littledale presents a personal reflection for Good Friday.

20200410The cross is a place and a moment of isolation – on ‘A green hill far away’. At the same time, it stands close to the heart of every Christian believer and community. With worshipping communities scattered, and communal worship impossible – Baptist minister the Revd Richard Littledale asks whether the cross stands further from us or closer to us in current circumstances. Neil McGregor has been enthralled by Salvador Dali’s depiction of the cross since he was a boy. As Director of the National Gallery, he would bring the painting to London as a key element of the Seeing Salvation exhibition, but he believes it speaks into every context even especially our current isolation. Richard also speaks to a medic on the front line of treating the COVID 19 infection and asks, when sickness, and even death loom larger to all of us, whether they think the cross seems closer to us or further away? Producer: Andrew Earis.

Music

There is a green hill far away (from St John Passion) - Bob Chilcott
Sung by St Martin’s Voices (BBC recording)

Crucifixus - Lotti
Sung by Tenebrae (CD: Allegri Miserere - Signum)

Libera me from Faure’s Requiem
Sung by Sir Thomas Allen and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (CD: Faure Requiem - Classic FM The Full Works)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sung by Williard White (CD: Copland - Old American Songs - Chandos)

Lux aurumque - Eric Whitacre
Sung by the Eric Whitacre Singers (CD: Light and Gold - Decca)

The Lamb - John Tavener
Sung by Tenebrae (CD: Allegri Miserere - Signum)

Baptist minister Richard Littledale presents a personal reflection for Good Friday.

Baptist minister the Revd Richard Littledale presents a personal reflection for Good Friday. Richard considers why Christians see beauty and love in an instrument of torture central to their faith – the cross. Richard meets artists and commentators whose work has been much affected by this iconic Christian imagery. Historian Iszi Lawrence finds the cross a challenging image which nonetheless has influenced the whole iconography of Western art. Neil McGregor has been enthralled by Salvador Dali’s depiction of the cross since he was a boy. Producer: Andrew Earis.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950414]with Rt Rev Patrick Kelly , Bishop of Salford
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950414] Unknown: Patrick Kelly