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Religious Programmes on RTÉ Television

Mick Peelo presents A BEYOND BELIEF SPECIAL on the day of the canonisation of Popes John XXIII & John Paul II - 27th April, 2014

Click here for information on RTÉ's Religious Programmes for Holy Week and Easter, 2014 On RTÉ Television and Radio...

Programmes You Can Believe In....

RTÉ Religious Programmes aim to Reflect, Interrogate, Celebrate and Explain the religious, ethical and spiritual life of contemporary Ireland. We broadcast over 100 hours each year on both television and radio, including documentaries, discussions, interviews, festival features and worship programmes, reflecting the full diversity of religious belief and practice in Ireland.

It's Holy Week... and not just for Christians...

RTÉ marked the Sikh Harvest Festival of Vaisakhi on Sunday 13th April with FABRIC OF FAITH, a portrait of Derry's Sikh community ( ) and also aired A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE, a charming film about Jews in Ireland preparing to celebrate Passover with the traditional Seder meal ( ). Do tuck in!

To celebrate and explore themes of Holy Week and Easter, we are offering a broad range of programmes all across RTÉ's TV, Radio and Digital platforms:

Saturday 12th April
David Suchet: In the Footsteps Of St Paul. This 2-part documentary is presented by the actor best known for his portrayal of Hercule Poirot, who happens to be a committed Christian and a well-informed amateur theologian. In the UK, the series won a Radio Times Readers’ vote as the nation’s favourite religious programme in 2013. Continued on Saturday 19th April at the same time. (RTÉ One)

Sunday 13th April – Palm Sunday
Gloria. Tim Thurston's marks Palm Sunday with a well-chosen and eclectic mix from a millennium of sacred music. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
1100-1200 Aifreann an Lae ar Dhomhnach na Pailme. (Mass for Palm Sunday, in Irish.) (RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta.)
1100-1155 Mass for Palm Sunday from St. Mary's Church, Newry, Co. Down. The celebrant is Fr. John Byrne, CC. Music from St. Mary's Church Choir, under the direction of Alma Kelly. (RTÉ Radio One LW 252 / 1xtra / DAB)
1110-1155 Service for Palm Sunday. The Rev. Scott Peoples leads members of Leixlip and Lucan Parishes in a Church of Ireland Service from the RTÉ studios, which can also be heard on RTÉ Radio 1 at 1155-1240. (RTÉ One & RTE Radio LW252/1Xtra/Digital Platforms.)
1730-1740 A World of Difference – Cooking for Passover. A culinary trip around the world reveals how Jews
from different backgrounds add their own cultural flavours to the Seder meal at Passover. (RTÉ One TV)
1740-1750 The Fabric of Faith - Sikhism in Derry City. Members of Stroke City’s Sikh community offer a glimpse of their faith and culture, on the Sikh harvest festival of Vaisakhi. (RTÉ One TV)

Thursday 17th April – Holy Thursday
1000-1400 Niall Carroll's Classical Daytime
: Join Niall Carroll for some great classical music as he takes you
from brunch to late lunch on Classical Daytime with a Coffee Concert from Collegio Papio Church, Ascona, Switzerland at 11am, featuring Pergolesi’s Salve Regina and Dixit Dominus, performed by Roberta Invernizzi (soprano) with the Italian-Swiss Radio-Television Soloists and Chorus I Barocchisti, conducted by Diego Fasolis. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
1900-2000 Mass of the Lord’s Supper Fr Tom Ryan celebrates Mass in the RTÉ studios, in Donnybrook with parishioners from St Senan’s Parish, Shannon, County Clare. Karen Barrett will direct the Shannon Gospel Choir. (Live simulcast on RTÉ One TV & Radio 1xtra / LW 252/Digital Platforms)
2000-2200 The Lyric Concert presented by Paul Herriott. In tonight's concert, Paul Herriott presents the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in a concert of choral works by Strauss, Janacek and Dvorak: Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra; Janacek: Vecne Evangelium (The Eternal Gospel); Janacek: Aotcé nás (The Lord's Prayer); Dvorak: Te Deum, Op.103. Performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, featuring Georgy Vasiliev (tenor), Ellen Versney (harp), Niek van der Meij (organ), Katrien Baerts (soprano) and Andrew Schroeder
(baritone), conducted by Jakub Hrusa. (RTÉ Lyric FM)

Friday 18th April – Good Friday
1345-1400 Resuscitating Easter – Reflections on the Death of Good Friday written and presented by Aidan
Mathews (RTÉ Radio One. All wavelengths.)
1400-1500 Music for Good Friday With Tim Thurston. Over the centuries, composers have written some of
the most intense and beautiful music for Holy Week, especially to enrich the services of Good Friday. Tim Thurston introduces a rich selection of music from a variety of styles, marking the most solemn moment in the Christian calendar. (RTE Radio 1 FM only)
1400-1500 DARTStáisiúin. Clár speisialta d’Aoine an Chéasta leis na haisteoirí Bríd Ní Neachtain agus Diarmuid de Faoite. Iarracht ar chur síos comhaimseartha ar thuras na croise, trí thuras ar an Dart. (DART Stations. A contemporary interpretation of the Stations of the Cross in the form of a trip on the DART, featuring actors Bríd Ní Neachtain and Diarmuid de Faoite.) (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.)
1400-1445 A Service of Music and Poetry for Good Friday led by the Rev. William Hayes and members of Tullamore Presbyterian Church. (RTE Radio 1xtra /252 LW/digital platforms)
1450-1605 Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion from St John’s Cathedral, Limerick – Ireland’s City of Culture, 2014. The celebrant is the Most Rev. Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick with music from the Diocesan Youth Choir under the direction of Lorna O'Byrne, with radio commentary by Fr Thomas McCarthy, OP. (Simulcast on RTÉ One and RTÉ Radio 1 LW252 / 1xtra / digital platforms.)
1500-1600 Craolfar Searmanas na Páise Searmanas Aoine an Chéasta beo ó Shéipéal Mhuire gan Smál i dTír an Fhia i gCeantar na nOileán, Conamara. (Good Friday religious ceremonies broadcast from Mary Immaculate Church, Tír an Fhia, in Conamara.) (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.)
1600-1900 Liz Nolan's Classic Drive The perfect musical soundtrack to your journey home, accompanied by news and traffic updates. At 5.40pm on Culture File, Luke Clancy talks to composer James MacMillan about his new work St Luke's Passion which premiered at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 15th March with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Vocaal Talent Nederland and Markus Stenz, conductor. The completion of this work brings MacMillan one step closer to fulfilling his lifetime goal of setting all four of the Gospel Passion accounts to music. (RTÉ Lyric FM.)
1900-2000 Cuireadh chun Ceoil. Ceol speisialta a bheidh ag Peadar Ó Riada dúinn inniu in oiriúint d’Aoine an Chéasta, le Cór Chúil Aodha, Nóirín Ní Riain agus Manaigh Ghleann Staille, Cór Thaobh a’Leithid as Tír Chonaill, Cór Chois Fharraige, agus córacha eachtrannacha freisin. (Peadar Ó Riada brings us a special mix of music for Easter weekend, with music from Cór Chúil Aodha, Nóirín Ní Riain and the Glenstal Monks, Cór Thaobh a Leithid from Donegal, Cór Chois Fharraige from Conamara, and other foreign choirs.) (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.)
2000-2200 The Lyric Concert presented by Paul Herriott. J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) recorded in St Francis' Church, Lausanne, as part of the Bach Festival, featuring the Gabrieli Consort and Players and Nicholas Mulroy (tenor), Marcus Farnsworth (baritone), Matthew Brook (bass-baritone), Andrew Tortise (tenor) and Paul McCreesh (conductor). (RTÉ Lyric FM)2200-2230 Giving The Devil His Due - A God Slot Good Friday Special. Taking her cue from the Gospel according to John, which tells us that immediately prior to the betrayal of Jesus, “Satan entered into” Judas, Eileen Dunne asks who, or what, is this Satan character? Mindful of the 14th century proverb about the only safe way to sup with the Devil, our eclectic panellists carry very long spoons. Director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Grainne Humphries looks at Old Nick’s film career; broadcaster and self-styled evangelist Miles McKee explains his literal belief in the Devil; biblical scholar Margaret Daly-Denton takes a more literary analytical approach; and Peter Stanford, broadcaster, journalist and author of The Devil: A Biography brings a mixture of encyclopedic learning, mischief and humour to the subject. The Devil is in the detail as Eileen looks into dark corners to explore the nature of Evil. (RTÉ Radio 1 all wavelenghths.)

Saturday, 19th April – Holy Saturday
David Suchet: In the Footsteps Of St Paul. The second part of this 2-part series, presented by the
actor best known for his portrayal of Hercule Poirot, who happens to be a committed Christian
and a well-informed amateur theologian. In the UK, the series won a Radio Times Readers’ vote
as the nation’s favourite religious programme in 2013. (RTÉ One)
1300-1600 Movies and Musicals. Classics from the stage and screen for your Saturday afternoon. Easter
Parade will certainly be on the Movies and Musicals menu this afternoon, featuring the songs of
Irving Berlin sung by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Aedín Gormley will also include epic scores
from Ben Hur, Gladiator and The Ten Commandments. Plus the stunning violin playing of Hilary
Hahn, whose recording of Barber's Violin Concerto is featured on the soundtrack to the film The
Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
2305-0035 Solemn celebration of the Easter Vigil Mass from St John’s Cathedral, Limerick, Ireland’s City of
Culture, 2014
. The celebrant is the Most Rev. Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick. Music from St. John's Cathedral Choir under the direction of Bernadette Kiely. (Simulcast on RTÉ One & Radio One LW252 / Digital Platforms.)

Sunday 20th April – Easter Sunday
0700-0800 Classical Kids. While you all enjoy a visit from the Easter Bunny this morning, Classical Kids will
enjoy a visit from The Runaway Bunny! With music by Glen Roven, the story of a little bunny
rabbit who wants to run away from his mother is read by Brooke Shields. Bugs Bunny goes to the
opera in The Rabbit of Seville and we'll hear part of the Mother Goose Suite by Ravel, with music
written for Beauty and the Beast and little Tom Thumb! (RTÉ Lyric FM)
0800-1000 Gloria. Tim Thurston guides you through a millennium of sacred music featuring Gregorian chant,
pure solo voices and choral masterpieces, framed around the glorious music of J.S. Bach.
Appropriately this morning Tim presents music for Easter Sunday including The Sixteen singing
Palestrina, a sublime Bach Cantata and part of a Mass by Rossini. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
0915-1100 Mass for Easter Sunday celebrated by Pope Francis, in St Peter’s Square, Rome with live commentary by Fr Thomas McCarthy, OP. (RTÉ One) Followed directly by…
1100-1130 Urbi et Orbi: Pope Francis’ Easter Message to the world, also with commentary by Fr Thomas McCarthy, OP. (RTÉ One)
1100-1145 Mass for Easter Sunday from St. Mary's Church, Navan, Co. Meath. The celebrant is Fr. Declan Hurley with music from St. Mary's Parish Choir under the direction of Gabrielle Harte. The organist is Anne Mary Foley. (RTÉ Radio One LW252 / 1Xtra/DAB only.)
1100-1145 Aifreann an Domhnaigh. Aifreann Dhomhnach Cásca ó Shéipéal Réalt na Mara i Leitir Mealláin i gCeantar na nOileán, Conamara. (Easter Sunday Mass broadcast from Queen of the Sea Parish in Leitir Mealláin, Co. Galway.) (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.)
1130-1215 Easter Sunday Service from the RTÉ studios in Donnybrook, with members of Knock Methodist Church, Co. Down, led by the Revd Robin Waugh. (RTÉ One. This service can also be heard on RTÉ Radio 1 LW252/1Xtra/Digital Platforms at 11.45am.)
1900-2000 A World of Song. Song is the art that touches every aspect of our lives and today Liz Nolan explores Easter themes of triumph, hope and new beginnings: Italian laudae, Bellini bel canto and a tender love story in Schumann's cycle Frauenliebe und Leben all feature. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
2230-2330 School of Love - A Would You Believe? Special. The Cistercian Sisters of Glencairn Abbey, near Lismore, Co
Waterford, have chosen to follow a way of life, rooted in prayer, work, silence and community, that has barely changed in nine centuries. To some, it may appear a flight from the so-called “real
world”, but that’s not how the sisters themselves see the way they live. The abbey is an engine of prayer and “a school of love”, through which they hope to make the world a better place. With unique, unfettered access, this special edition of WYB? observes the community through the course of a year, observing these clever and capable women from a variety of different back-grounds in all the liturgical and farming seasons and at all stages of their religious lives, from the novitiate to death. A real treat. (RTÉ One TV.)

Monday 21st April – Easter Monday

1330-1400 Children of the Revolution Following broadcaster Joe Duffy’s painstaking campaign to name and commemorate all the child victims of the Easter Rising, the Rev. Pearse Walsh is joined by Canon Barbara Fryday and Fr Michael Scott SDB – both relatives of deceased children of 1916 – for the first ecumenical Service of Remembrance from City Quay Parish Church, Dublin. The Service includes contributions from the children of City Quay National School, Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan and Joe Duffy, with specially composed music from Declan O’Rourke and John Sheehan. (Radio One All Wavelengths)
1402-1500 Music Passport: A Journey Through Genocide. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in which almost 1 million people were killed in 100 days. In Music Passport, Kathryn Thomas travels to Rwanda to discover the part played by music; from the political songs of hate which helped to fuel the genocide, to the way in which music now contributes to the peace and social cohesion that exists today. (RTÉ Radio One)
1900-2000 The Rolling Wave. Join Peter Browne for some interesting tunes, songs, people and news from the world of traditional Irish music. Singer and songwriter Andy Irvine joins Peter Browne in studio to talk about his latest album "Parachilna" recorded in Australia, the band Mosaik and his long-standing interest in the musical traditions of the Balkan countries. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
2000-2200 The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott - presenting the Irish Radio premiere of James MacMillan's St Luke's Passion. The work was commissioned by the NTR Zaterdagmatinee, Duke University, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Soli Deo Gloria and features Peter Dicke (organ), Netherlands Radio Chorus and National Youth Chorus, Wilma ten Wolde and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Markus Stenz. (RTÉ Lyric FM)
2300-0000 The Country Time Easter Gospel Show will feature music from EmmyLou Harris, The Bluegrass Gospel Project, Marty Stuart and Texas slide guitar virtuoso Lee Roy Parnell with the Fairfield Four among others. (Radio One All Wavelengths.)

Throughout Holy Week and Easter, you can also find on the RTÉ Player Patrick Butler's film Passion in the Pale, which follows two performances of very different artistic interpretations of the Easter story, on opposite sides of the Liffey.

All of our output can also be found online, either on the RTÉ Player, the RTÉ Radio Player or on the websites of our various strands: WOULD YOU BELIEVE?, THE MEANING OF LIFE, THE MOMENT OF TRUTH, BEYOND BELIEF and THE GOD SLOT.

In terms of Christian worship, we also try, through a mixture of outside broadcasts and Masses & Services from the RTÉ studios in Dublin, to reflect the wide variety of denominations and worship styles to be found across the 32 counties, north and south of the border.

If you would like your church or faith community to feature, please contact me at or on +353 1 208 4586. Thanks.

Roger Childs, Head of RTÉ Religious Programmes.

The Meaning of Life will be returning on 4th May with a series that includes interviews with Majella O'Donnell, Rory O'Neill, Eamon Dunphy and Sean O'Sullivan. In the meantime, Gay Byrne has a book based on interviews from, and reflections on, the first seven series of the programme. That's available in all good book stores, published by Gill & Macmillan..

We are also open to suggestions and stories for our various Factual series: Would You Believe?, The Meaning of Life, The Moment of Truth and Beyond Belief. Just email me: Thanks.

What's On

RTÉ Religious Websites:

  • iWitness
  • The Meaning of Life
  • Spirit Level
  • Does God Hate ...?
  • Would you believe?
  • Beyond Belief
  • West of Mecca
  • Who's Afraid of Islam?
  • Radio 1
  • Radio 1