Joseph of Arimathea, a believer and one waiting for the Kingdom, got permission from Pilate to bury Jesus’s dead body, and made the arrangements with Nicodemus. These two, although members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council, did not consent with the leaders’ decision to crucify Jesus, but took about seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes and prepared our Lord’s body for burial. They would lay Jesus’s body in a borrowed tomb, the final act of humiliation in the crucifixion spectacle. As the Creed declares, Jesus died, and his body was buried in the tomb.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Grant, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
~ 1637 Scottish Prayer Book, attributed to Laud and Cosin, BEC, No. 43 (Geffen, p. 82)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
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.
Chronological Reading for the Day
Saturday: 1 Kings 2.1-12; 2 Sam. 23.1-7; 1 Chron. 29.26-30; Pss. 4-6; 8; 9; 11
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Holy Saturday: Matt. 27.62-66; Luke 23.56b
Psalm: Ps. 31.1-4, 15-16
OT: Lam. 3.1-9, 19-24
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
Gen. 22.1-18; Ps. 16
Exod. 14.10-31; 15.20-21; 15.1b-13, 17-18
Isa. 55.1-11; 12.2-6
Prov. 8.1-8, 19-21; 9.4b-6; Ps. 19
Ezek. 36.24-28; Ps. 42, 43
Ezek. 37.1-14; Ps. 143
Zeph. 3.14-20; Ps. 98
Rom. 6.3-11; Ps. 114
(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
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.
By the shedding of the Blood of Christ our Lord, peace has been established in heaven and earth. O truly precious is the Covenant of peace, which was made by the offering of that holy Blood! Not with gold, not silver, nor gems, nor pearls, but with the Blood that gushed from the side of the Saviour. That Blood-shedding gladdened heaven, purified earth, and terrified hell.
~ Galliean Sacramentary (Bright, p. 48)
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
O my soul, trust in the Lord, even in the darkest hour and day, for he is not a God who makes a promise and fails to fulfill it.
Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
In the ancient church the three days [of the Paschal Triduum] started on Thursday evening and ended with the great Paschal Vigil of Saturday night. These services are called the Paschal Triduum [or, the Three Great Days]. . . . They are the most holy, solemn, and serious days of the entire year. For in these days we experience and encounter our own destiny in the destiny of Christ’s ignominious death and burial and in his triumphant resurrection from the dead.
~ Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time.
Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004. p. 125.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The One Pierced for Our Transgressions, Isaiah 52.13-53.12
Davis, Sacred Roots