Saturday, October 16th, St.Francis-in-the-Wood, Caulfeild.
$10 Admission. Proceeds from this event will go to St. Francis-in-the-Wood Martha Fund, helping to pay medical expenses for Martha Nwaneri in Nigeria who received a liver transplant three years ago. The parish has made a commitment to support Martha.
For the past few years on Palm Sunday, the week before Easter, the Rev. Dr. Angus Stuart has recited The Passion Gospel, the story of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus as related in one or other of the three synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark or Luke, depending on which one is allocated that year. Many have found these recitations powerful, touching them spiritually and emotionally, and even physically as they are transported back in time into the drama of the gospel.

After Easter 2009, having recited the Passion Gospel from Mark, Angus didn’t want to just forget it and even wondered if he could memorize the rest of the Gospel according to Mark as well. After all, he had heard that it had been done before by British actor, Alec McCowen, though in the traditional King James Version rather than the contemporary New Revised Standard Version.

So he began to learn it, adding a few verses each day. By Easter 2010 he had sufficiently memorized the text such that he was able to offer a recitation of chapters one through thirteen right up to but not including the passion narrative on Maundy Thursday, the eve of Good Friday. This was a foretaste, or dress rehearsal, for a presentation of the entire gospel from start to finish.

Saturday, October 16 will see the first such presentation. Other performances may follow, but this promises to be a unique occasion, and judging by the impact of previous recitations is likely to be a powerful and moving experience for all concerned.