SUNDAY, 8 a.m.

Sunday Mass and Litany

EWTN Televised Masses cannot fulfill our Sunday obligation, of course, but they offer us a fine opportunity to pray along and contemplate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus follows at 9 a.m. Re-airs at 12 noon.

TUESDAY, 9 p.m.

Wide Angle: The People’s Court

PBS This documentary’s depiction of oppressive Communist Party-run courts in China might make viewers think twice about buying any more products from that totalitarian regime. Trying to curb 200 or more riots against their misrule per day, the Chinese speak of “new” concepts such as property rights and the rule of law. But they still imprison independent-minded lawyers and execute more people than the rest of the world combined, such as the young man, 19, whom we see “tried” for fighting land seizures.

WEDNESDAY, 10 a.m.

The Revolution

HISTORY CHANNEL Airing hourly are all 13 episodes of this series about America’s War of Independence, from the Stamp Act riots of 1765 through the many military campaigns and ending with George Washington’s inauguration as our first president in 1789.


Independence Day Celebrations

PBS, NBC, CBS At 8 p.m. on PBS, in A Capitol Fourth, the National Symphony Orchestra performs, closing with fireworks and the cannon-punctuated “1812 Overture.” At 9 p.m. on NBC, Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular features Martina McBride, Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, the New York Pops — and 35,000 fireworks shells in the finale. At 10 p.m., CBS airs the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular with guest John Mellencamp.

THURSDAY, 2:30 p.m.

Working with the Poor: In His Image

EWTN The Missionaries of the Poor, a monastic order of brothers founded in 1981 by Father Richard Ho Lung, are “dedicated to Joyful Service with Christ on the Cross to serve the poorest of the poor.” More than 300 strong now, they pray and work in Jamaica, Haiti, India, the Philippines and Uganda.

FRIDAY, 10:30 p.m.

Scientific American Frontiers: Going Deep

PBS This half-hour episode profiles the deep sea research vessel Alvin, operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass. A re-air from 2005.

SATURDAY, 8 p.m.

Edge of Europe

EWTN This Riochta Productions video takes us to the remote island of Skellig Michael off County Kerry in southwest Ireland. Catholic monks who thirsted for quiet and union with God built six stone huts and two oratories there beginning in 588 A.D., and their successors remained until the 13th century.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.