Holy Saturday – Easter Eve – Prayers

Holy Saturday – Easter Eve – Prayers

Holy Saturday – also known as Easter Eve.
A suggested personal act of vigil and prayer…
Allow yourself sometime, 30 minutes if possible in the evening.
 
‘This is the night in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life. The Church invites her members dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. As we await the risen Christ, let us hear the record of God’s saving deeds in history, recalling how he saved his people in ages past, and in the fullness of time sent his Son to be our Redeemer.’
(Common Worship: Times and Seasons, p.354)
 
A prayer as we begin:
Blessed are you,
Lord God of all creation, to you be glory and praise for ever.
Your steadfast love extends to the heavens and your faithfulness never ceases.
Illuminate our hearts with your wisdom and strengthen our lives with your word,
for you are the fountain of life; in your light we see true light.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.
 
Reflection.
We reflect on God’s saving work in the Old Testament…
(reading ideally at least 3 of these, including Exodus 12)
Genesis 1:1- chapter 2:4a – The Creation
Genesis 3 – The Fall
Genesis 7, 8, 9:1-13 – Noah and the Flood
Exodus 3:1-6 – Moses and the Burning Bush
Exodus 12:1-24 – The Passover
Jonah 1 – chapter 2:10 – Jonah and the fish
Daniel 3:1-28 – The three faithful men in the furnace
Daniel 6:1-24 – Daniel in the lions’ den
 
It is fair to say, that Jesus’ body had been destroyed on Friday, what we call Good Friday. And on Holy Saturday, his body lay rigid on the cold stone of a dark borrowed tomb. The women waited until the Sabbath had ended,for their final small act of devotion.
 
We read the account of Jesus burial… Mark 15:42-47.

42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

New International Version – UK (NIVUK)Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

To consider:
“As contemplate the cross and the reality of forgiveness offered to us, we set our minds and hearts to turn back to the Lord in all those areas where we have walked away or become indifferent.
 
As we look ahead to the cries of joy on Easter Day, to the reality of resurrection, we pray for our own renewal and transformation through the days of Easter, that we might become more like Christ, more ready to receive the Spirit.”
(Anglican Bishop Steve Croft)
 
The Lord’s Prayer is prayed…

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.  Amen.

 
A further prayer:
Grant, Lord,
that we who are baptized into the death
of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
may continually put to death our evil desires
and be buried with him;
and that through the grave and gate of death
we may pass to our joyful resurrection;
 
through his merits,
who died and was buried and rose again for us,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.
 
Closing reading: John 2:13-22

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’[a]

18 The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’

19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’

20 They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. John 2:17 Psalm 69:9
New International Version – UK (NIVUK)Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

John records a prophecy by Jesus, fulfilled on Easter morning. The temple is rebuilt with the doors open beckoning all humanity to step through into God’s presence.
 
May Christ, who bore our sins on the cross, set us free to serve with him with joy. Amen.

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