As noted in my post from yesterday (found here) my church, Alger First UMC is in the midst of a prayer vigil. I wanted to make the resources for prayer that are available at the church also available online. In the previous post (linked above) are several general prayer helps, as well as resources specific to Good Friday. Below, you’ll find resources specific to today, Holy Saturday.
“Good Friday is the most agonizing day of the Christian year. Holy Saturday is the most contemplative.
On this day, as no other, we are invited into the most profound silence of the life of God, whose Son, “of one being with the Father,” lay buried in a tomb. That is what we can perceive from this side of Easter. From the other side, at services tomorrow, we will celebrate how Christ preached to those in captivity and broke Hell’s chains forever. But for this service, we speak from the emptiness of death as we know it and as the very Being of God experienced it.”(This quote found here)
Today, God is dead, buried, six feet under, the grave closed, sealed, and put under guard.
Today is about the profound silence of God.
How fitting that you have come to pray today. There may be no better way to spend Holy Saturday than in prayer, meditation, and silence.
If you wish to orient yourself to today, you can read about it in one of the Gospels: Matthew 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 24:50-56; John 19:38-42. Or you can just continue on to your prayers, with or without the prayer guides, knowing that it is in this disturbing and disquieting truth that we pray today.
“Eternal God, rock and refuge: with roots grown old in the earth, river beds run dry, and flowers withered in the field, we wait for revival and release. Abide with us until we come alive in the sunrise of your glory. Amen.” (this prayer found here)
Meditation on Holy Saturday
Jesus Christ died yesterday. Today he is in the grave.
The Light of the World has been extinguished. The One who raised Lazarus from the dead is himself brought down to the grave. Today, God is not only dead, but is buried, six feet under. The stone has been rolled in front of the grave, it’s been sealed by Pilate, and Roman guards have been stationed at its door.
Today, God has lost. Death and evil have won.
Today, God is silent. The voice who spoke Creation into existence can speak no more.
We as Christians do, in fact, know what tomorrow is: Easter Sunday, when we celebrate Resurrection. But Easter Sunday is not here yet. Today, we wait with Christ’s 11 remaining disciples who have lost all hope and are in the throes of grief, knowing that their leader, Teacher, mentor, and friend has been brutally killed and buried.
So today, here at the altar table, stripped and bare, you are invited to meditate on the emotions of this day. Stand, sit, kneel, lay prostrate (lie stretched out and face-down on the ground), whatever works for you.
What have you lost that you feel you will never get back?
Who have you lost, whose presence you still sorely missed? What grief are you holding inside?
Where in your life do you feel this silence of God? What prayers do you feel God has left unanswered?