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Encountering the Passion – new resource for Holy Week services published

A set of dramatized readings of the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Christ have been published by Church House Publishing today, offering churches new material as they prepare their programme of Holy Week services.

The booklet – designed using the award-winning Common Worship format – presents the events leading up to Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, as recorded in the four Gospels, in the form of dramatized readings.  These are offered alongside an introductory section offering practical advice on presenting the readings within the context of worship.

The Revd Peter Moger, National Worship Development Officer, says that the new material will be welcomed by churches aiming to offer fresh liturgical material that gets to the core of the message of the Cross: “The proclamation of Jesus’ passion stands at the heart of the celebration of Holy Week. This excellent resource, which complements the material in Common Worship: Times and Seasons, will help congregations enter more deeply into the mystery of our salvation.”

Dramatic readings of the Passion narratives presented by a number of voices have been present in northern Europe since the tenth century, and have become increasingly widespread throughout the Church of England in recent years. The material follows in the footsteps of the Book of Common Prayer and the traditions of the German Lutheran churches by using John’s Passion on Good Friday; the narratives of the other three Evangelists are for use on Palm Sunday on successive years, as detailed in the Common Worship Lectionary.

Today’s publication supplements the liturgical material published in Common Worship: Times and Seasons, published in November 2006.

Proclaiming the Passion – the Passion narratives in dramatized form (ISBN 978-071512126-9), priced £5.99, is available from Christian bookshops including Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020 7799 4064, e mail bookshop@c-of-e.org.uk, or on the web (mail order available).