Week 20: Holy Saturday

The same Jesus that came into this world through the Spirit’s conception and Mary’s birth, who revealed the Father through his life and signs, was crucified dead on the Tree, was buried in a borrowed tomb. But this was not the end.

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, in Scott R. Murray,
A Year with the Church Fathers: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year.
St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. 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.

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)

Gloria Patri
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.

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.

Benediction 
O God, who didst enlighten this most holy night with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection, preserve in all thy people the spirit of adoption which thou hast given, so that, renewed in body and soul, they may perform unto thee a pure service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ The Sermon and the Propers II, p. 125, in Roger Geffen,
The Handbook of Public Prayer. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1963. p. 82.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord, we wait for your coming to dispel the darkness and bring us the light.

Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of All Believers
Those nine beautiful graces that go to make up normal Christian character – love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control – are the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ (Gal. 5.22-23). Not one of them is the fruit of the Christian.

~ Roy J. Fish and J. E. Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today.
Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1976. p. 85.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord, Luke 19.28-40

Book Reading
Fish and Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today