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Religion in the Media

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All times Eastern Standard; check your local listings; some networks may not be available on your cable system.

TELEVISION

SATURDAY

"Solemn Easter Vigil Mass": Live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. (8 p.m., EWTN, 3 hrs.)

"Peace in the Valley": The gospel roots of country music are celebrated in an Easter special taped at Nashville's historic Tulip Street Methodist Church, with Alan Jackson, Pam Tillis, Lee Roy Parnell, BR5-49 and Diamond Rio. (Repeat) (10 p.m., TNN, 1 hr.)

"About Us: The Dignity of Children": Oprah Winfrey hosts a special geared toward educators and care-givers that delves into the thoughts and emotions of children. The program probes issues important to children, including self-expression, family, moral values and spirituality. Winfrey also shares recollections, bad and good, from her own youth. Because of mature themes, the program is rated TV14; parents strongly cautioned. (8 p.m., ABC, 2 hrs.)

"Follow That Bunny": A merry music-filled adventure for children that brings to life a tale about the year that spring almost never sprung. (10 a.m., Odyssey, 30 minutes.)

"The Last Leaf": Art Carney stars in this adaption of O. Henry's classic story of a gravely ill young girl whose faith is revived by an old, wise artist. (Noon, Odyssey, 30 minutes.)

"The Hero": Two sons facing death and two mothers' undying love combine in a miracle that spans 2,000 years. (12:30 p.m., Odyssey, 30 minutes.)

"Handel's Messiah": (6 p.m., Odyssey, 1 hr.)

SUNDAY

"Celebrating Christ's Splendor": Easter sunrise service with the Most Rev. Anthony M. Pilla, Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland, at St. John's Cathedral. (6:30 a.m., ABC, 1 hr.)

"Faith Focus": The story of Easter is recounted, with special music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the men's chorus of First Baptist Church, Hamilton Park. (7:30 a.m., NBC, 30 min.)

"Easter Mass:" Cardinal John O'Connor, Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, celebrates Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. (4 p.m., Odyssey, 1 hr. 30 min.)

"Easter Mass and Message with the Holy Father": Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. (Tape delay) (7 p.m., EWTN, 2 hrs.)

"The Ten Commandments": Cecil B. Demille's 1956 Oscar-winning classic dramatizes the story of Moses (Charlton Heston) and the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. The film, which airs Sunday and Monday (8-10 p.m.), has undergone an electronic restoration of color and sound. (Part 1 of 2) (7 p.m., ABC, 3 hrs.)

"Gothic Cathedrals": A visit to remarkable churches showcases extraordinary workmanship and beauty, from the traditional National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to Anaheim, Calif.'s modern Crystal Cathedral. (8 p.m., History Channel, 1 hr.)

"A Conversation with Bill Moyers": TV journalist Bill Moyers talks about his life and experiences, with a special focus on ideas of faith and religion that have been the subjects of many of his acclaimed television specials. (9 p.m., PBS, 1 hr.)

"Jerusalem": Host Martin Gilbert visits the holy city of Jerusalem, tracing its history through 3,000 years and more than 40 conquerors. (9 p.m., History Channel, 3 hrs.)

"How Jesus Died: The Last 18 Hours:" Medical and historical reports support the theory that Jesus' physical death was caused by heart failure after sustaining three hours of crucifixion. (10 p.m., Learning Channel, 30 min.)

"Handel's Messiah": The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's majestic renditions of excerpts, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today," and "Behold, the Lord Your Redeemer." (6:30 a.m., Odyssey, 30 minutes.)

"Resurrecting Hope": Worship service from Mississippi Boulevard Christrian Church (Disciples of Christ). (7 a.m., Odyssey, 1 hour.)

"The Lamb of God," depicts the final hours of Christ's mortal ministry. (3 p.m., Odyssey, 30 minutes.)

"Easter Dream," Casey Ellison stars as a young boy who, while trying to cope with his father's death, learns the meaning of Easter. (3:30 p.m., Odyssey, 30 minutes.)

"Easter Mass," John Cardinal O'Connor, Archibishop of New York, celebrates the Easter Mass ast St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City. (4 p.m., Odyssey, 11/2 hours.)

"The Lives of Jesus," This four-part series undertakes an ambitious exploration in search of the historical Jesus. A co-production of Odyssey and the BBC. The four one-hour episodes air back-to-back, and will be repeated from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. (6 p.m., Odyssey, 4 hours.)

MONDAY

"American Experience": Theology student Charles Loring Brace organizes an ambitious rescue program in 1853 to transport New York City's homeless children to homes in rural America, with varying degrees of success. (9 p.m., PBS, 1 hr.,)

TUESDAY

"Mysterious Man of the Shroud": Hector Elizondo of Chicago Hope hosts this special, which examines the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, a relic said to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Results from carbon-14 dating, DNA testing, computer graphics and archaeology are discussed. (8 p.m., CBS, 1 hr.)

"Ancient Prophecies One": Many believe that prophecies from Nostradamus and the Book of Revelation forecast disaster for the year 2000. (Part 1 of 2) (9 p.m., Learning Channel, 1 hr.)

WEDNESDAY

"Ancient Prophecies One: Are prophecies of doom for the turn of the century credible? (Part 2 of 2) (9 p.m., Learning Channel, 1 hr.)

THURSDAY

"Passion of the Saints": Theologians, scientists and physicians discuss the validity of alleged miraculous acts of the saints. (9 p.m., Learning Channel, 1 hr.)

FRIDAY

"An Empire Conquered:" A historical overview of early Christianity that was filmed in Rome. (9 p.m., Learning Channel, 1 hr.)

"Canto Gregoriano": Gregorian chant accompanies this travelogue, which visits the monasteries of Spain. (10 p.m., EWTN, 1 hr.)