This Week’s Theme
The Burial of Jesus
After it had been verified that Jesus of Nazareth had died having been crucified upon the Cross, Joseph of Arimathea (a disciple of Jesus who followed him secretly because of feared backlash from the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate if he could take the body of Jesus down from the Cross. Pilate permitted him to do so, and so Joseph along with Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees, came and took Jesus’s body. According to Jewish custom, they took Jesus’s body and wrapped it in linen with a mixture of myrrh and aloes (75 pounds heavy), and placed Jesus’s body in a new garden tomb, where no one had yet been laid. This was convenient, for the garden tomb was nearby, and it was the Jewish Sabbath preparation season.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Lord God, heavenly Father, the holy city of Jerusalem rejected the prophets and stoned those who were sent to her, killing Your Son, the final prophet sent to redeem her and the whole world from their sins. Through His innocent suffering and death, gather Your Church into His loving embrace that we may truly be the Body of Christ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Lutheran Service Book, Treasury of Daily Prayer (Murray, p. 348)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Saturday: Ps. 83; 1 Chron. 29.23-25; 2 Chron. 1.1-13; 1 Kings 2.13-3.28
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Holy Saturday: Matt. 27.62-66; Luke 23.56b
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 31.1-4, 15-16
Gospel: John 19.38-42
NT: 1 Pet. 4.1-8
Easter Vigil Readings
Gen. 1.1-2.4a; Ps. 136.1-9, 23-26
Gen. 7.1-5, 11-18; 8.6-18; 9.8-13; Ps. 46
Exod. 14.10-31; 15.20-21; 15.1b-13, 17-18
Prov. 8.1-8, 19-21; 9.4b-6; Ps. 19
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
O Lord our God, Father of the Crucified, increase our faith, and in every trial that awaits us teach us to look up to thee without doubt or fear, persuaded that thy mercies are ever sure. In whom shall we put our trust but in thee? Defend us, for we are thine; give us assurance that in life or in death, none shall pluck us out of thy hand; and when the hour has come, help us to follow our divine Forerunner, and to say, Father into thy hands I commend my spirit. Amen.
~ James Ferguson (Ferguson and Wallis, p. 147)
Affirmation for the Day
Jesus entered Jerusalem as both victim and priest, as Lord as well as sacrifice, the one who takes away for us the sin of the world!
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
May we always remember, Jesus of Nazareth, son of David, who died to set the captives free.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
Metaxas, Martin Luther