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Inspirational TV for Holy Week

Get inspired by these movie offerings, both old and new, for Holy Week.

By Nina Hämmerling Smith, Weston, Connecticut


Here’s another way to get inspired during Holy Week: A wide variety of wonderful movies, both old and new, are airing on TV stations around the country. Whether you’re looking for a dramatic rendering of the life of Jesus, a faithful look at the journey of the prophet Jeremiah or even a musical celebration, there’s plenty on offer.

Palm Sunday, April 1
Marking Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday is one of the holiest days in the calendar. In celebration, GMC will be airing an all-day marathon of the “Greatest Stories Ever Told,” including ...

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Jeremiah (1998): The biblical story of the prophet who struggled to share the word of God. Starring Patrick Dempsey. (GMC, 9 AM ET)

The Ten Commandments (2006): Moses’ story, from his conflict with Pharaoh to leading the Jews out of slavery to the parting of the Red Sea and beyond. Starring Dougray Scott, Omar Shariff and Naveen Andrews. (GMC, 11 AM ET)

Abraham (1993): The faith and obedience of Abraham and his family are recounted in this wonderful story starring Richard Harris and Barbara Hershey. (GMC, 3 PM ET)

Jesus (1999): The star-studded movie focuses not only on the teachings and compassion of Jesus, but also on his life. “I wanted to show Jesus as a real guy,” director Roger Young said in Christianity Today. “What’s always missing from the films of Jesus is that he was a human being.” Featuring Jeremy Sisto, Debra Messing, Gary Oldman and Jacqueline Bisset. (GMC, 7 PM ET)

Tuesday, April 3
Joseph (1995): Joseph’s story of slavery, his jealous brothers, his eventual rise to power and his mission to lead his people to the Land of Goshen. Starring Paul Mercurio and Oscar winner Ben Kingsley. (GMC, 8 PM ET)

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Thursday, April 5
Another classic account of Jesus’ life is relayed in ...

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965): This lush, epic production is one of the classic movie renditions of Jesus’ life, starring Max von Sydow, Charlton Heston, Martin Landau and Angela Lansbury, among other favorites. (GMC, 8 PM ET)

Easter Sunday, April 8
Between church service, Easter egg hunts and family dinners, there’s an array of movie options available, including historical documentary, dramatic accounts and several beloved oldies ...

Godspell (1973): A different kind of look at the life and ministry of Jesus, featuring Victor Garber. (TCM, 7:15 AM ET)

The Silver Chalice (1955): The story of a Greek man set to the task of engraving the Holy Grail. Starring a young Paul Newman in his first movie role. (TCM, 2 PM ET)

Jerusalem: Center of the World (2009): This documentary looks at the history and religious importance of the holy city, including the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Hosted by Ray Suarez. (PBS, check local listings)

Barabbas (1961): The thief whom Pontius Pilate freed instead of Jesus is the center of this drama starring Anthony Quinn. (TCM, 4:30 PM ET)

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King of Kings (1961): The beloved moving retelling of Jesus’s life, featuring Jeffrey Hunter and Siobhan McKenna. (TCM, 9 PM ET)