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Worship while watching and listening

Radio and TV worship programmes for sharing with others

Broadcast services and reflections are some of the many ways in which members of the Church can continue to worship with others at this difficult time.  These services can be especially helpful for people who do not have internet access or who may enjoy the familiar format of a radio or television programme.

The Church of Ireland Press Office publishes weekly listings of broadcast and online worship opportunities, which are available on the Church of Ireland website on Friday afternoons (in advance of each Sunday) and on Monday or Tuesday (for weekdays).

Readers are encouraged to share details of broadcast programmes with friends, relatives and neighbours who may, in turn, find encouragement from them.  The regular programmes listed below are subject to occasional scheduling changes, so please check the most recent weekly listings for any updates.  Most programmes can also be listened to after broadcast on the BBC iPlayer or RTÉ Player.

Parishioners may also find it helpful to use the Daily Worship app or service sheets from the Book of Common Prayer when following services with a Church of Ireland liturgy.

Visit www.ireland.anglican.org/dailyworshipapp for information on downloading Daily Worship and also a beginner’s guide.

Service sheets may be downloaded for printing here.

Sundays (television)

Sunday Worship – BBC One

A service of worship is broadcast on BBC One (10.45am – 11.15am), normally from an Anglican cathedral in Great Britain.  The programme is not always available in Northern Ireland due to regional variations in scheduling; the latest information will be noted in the weekly listing.

Sunday Worship – RTÉ One & RTÉ News Now

RTÉ broadcasts a Mass or service every Sunday morning at 11.00am on RTÉ One, simultaneously broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and Longwave 252. Broadly speaking, Protestant services from a variety of denominations alternate with Catholic Masses, week by week. This Sunday, the service on RTÉ One will mark Christian Aid Week and will be led by the Revd Dr Liz Hughes and Rosamond Bennett, with music by the Ignite Community in Dublin and Victoria Johnston.

During the pandemic, RTÉ has added a service on RTÉ News Now at 2pm on Sundays when RTÉ One broadcasts Mass, and vice versa.

Songs of Praise – BBC One

Hymns and songs, together with stories of faith from around the UK and beyond.  The programme was last year moved to an early afternoon slot: 1.15pm – 1.50pm.

Sundays (radio)

Sunday Worship – BBC Radio 4 (8.10am – 8.50am)

Morning Service – BBC Radio Ulster (10.15am – 11.00am)

Sunday Worship – RTÉ Radio 1 Extra & Longwave 252 (11.00am – 11.45am)

Choral Evensong – BBC Radio 3 (3.00pm – 4.00pm)

In addition, Richard Yarr introduces listeners’ requests for their favourite sacred music on Sounds Sacred on Radio Ulster (5.00pm – 6.00pm).  Richard reads out birthday and anniversary greetings and words of encouragement, which may be sent in by email to sounds.sacred@bbc.co.uk

Weekdays (television)

RTÉ broadcasts daily Mass, each weekday, on RTÉ News Now, at 10.30am, followed, at 10.55am, by With You In Spirit, five–minute messages of inspiration and encouragement by people of many faiths and none, all of which are also accessible afterwards on the RTÉ Player.

Weekdays (radio)

Prayers and reflections are broadcast each weekday morning at times which may suit either early risers or those who wake up later.

Prayer for the Day – BBC Radio 4 (just before 5.45am)

This forms a block of easy listening radio between 5.30am and 6.00am, which also includes the morning Shipping Forecast, Farming Today and Tweet of the Day (the birdlife version).  Also broadcast on Saturday mornings.

Pause for Thought – BBC Radio 2 (5.45am; repeated at 9.20am)

Featuring different contributors from a variety of faiths, as part of Vanessa Feltz’s early morning programme and the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

A Living Word – RTÉ Radio 1 (6.15am; repeated at 12.58am)

A longstanding two–minute daily meditation. As its early morning and repeat late night broadcast times suggest, the roots of the programme reach back to the traditions of Morning Prayer and Compline, although it now embraces people of many faiths and none.

Thought for the Day – BBC Radio Ulster & Radio 4 (around 6.50am and 7.50am)

Reflections for listeners to Good Morning Ulster and the Today programme.  Radio 4’s Thought for the Day is also broadcast on Saturday mornings.

Daily Service – BBC Radio 4 (9.45am – 10.00am; long wave only)

This is the longest running programme of its type anywhere in the world and began in 1928 after a listener wrote to Lord Reith, the BBC’s first Director–General, with the words: “How many are there who ‘listen–in’ who long to hear something daily of God and His love?”

Sunday’s Choral Evensong programme is repeated on Radio 3 on Wednesday afternoons (3.30pm – 4.30pm).

Radio frequencies

RTÉ Radio 1 – 88–90 FM, 252 LW

BBC Radio Ulster – 92–95 FM, 1341 MW

BBC Radio 2 – 88–91 FM

BBC Radio 3 – 90–93 FM

BBC Radio 4 – 92–95 FM, 198 LW, 720 MW (Belfast & Londonderry), 774 MW (Enniskillen)

RTÉ News Now can be found on all digital and terrestrial TV providers in the Republic: Saorview Channel 21; Sky 521; Virgin 200; and Eir 517. It is also accessible via www.rte.ie and also the RTÉ Player or via its own freely downloadable app.