Prayer for Holy Saturday

holy saturday 2

Hymn text from the Holy Saturday Divine Office

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience,
for to wait is often harder than to work. – Peter Marshall

Selection from Worship in the Light of the Cross by John Indermar
The women in Luke [23:55-56] actively engage in the immediate aftermath of crucifixion. They follow to see where the body has been taken. They prepare spices and ointments for anointing the corpse. But instead of pressing ahead in a rush to get things done ASAP, they stop. They keep the sabbath. In Luke’s terms, they rest. Luke’s word Heschazo carries dual meanings of “to keep quiet” and “to cease from labor.” The women keep Saturday’s vigil in stillness and quietness.

Reflection on Waiting by Henri J. M. Nouwen
To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.

Prayer for Holy Saturday by Lisa Degrenia
Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of Hosts,
There are so many things we do not understand

Help us to trust you
even when the situation is desperate and out of control

Help us to follow you
even when the way unclear

Help us to wait and rest
even when every bit of us screams to act

Build in us a faith that perseveres
Even when we can’t see you
Or feel you near
Or understand

Your power and goodness are never diminished
Morning is coming

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Prayer for Holy Saturday © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
(by Lisa Degrenia, revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Holy Week: We Need to Linger

holy week primitive cartoon adapted
Before we get to Easter, we need to linger:
in the vulnerability of the basin and the towel
at the remembrance and promise of the table
in the struggle and betrayal of the garden
in the shadows and shouts of injustice
at the bloody brutal beautiful cross
in the silence of linen and spices and death

For without these, the empty tomb is empty

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Poem: We Need to Linger © 2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Holy Week at Home- Good Friday

jesus crucifixion mother son

Crucifixion by Edward Vardanian (2003)

Below you’ll find a guide for worshipping at home on Good Friday. It includes the scriptures of Jesus’ words from the cross plus some sentences to focus your prayer time. The more formal prayers come from the book Listening at Golgotha by Peter Storey, illustrations by Jan Richardson.

You’re welcome to use this resource anytime on Good Friday. Here are some options-

  • It’s a long-standing practice for Christians to pray from (or between) 9am-3pm on Good Friday. In doing this we remember the six hours Jesus spent on the cross.
  • We will gather on Facebook Live to pray this together at 6:30pm on Good Friday. You’re most welcome to join us. https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/

To begin:

  • Gather your household in a quiet place. Silence all electronics.
  • Join us for the live online worship service at 6:30pm.
  • If you are not joining us for the live online worship service, distribute copies of this resource and decide who will lead each prayer and scripture reading.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF HOLY WEEK AT HOME- GOOD FRIDAY

OPTIONAL OPENING PRAYER by Rev. Jes Kast
For all who have ever felt isolated
For all who have died alone
For all whose hearts break from being rejected
For all who have watched loved ones die
For all who have felt helpless
For all who have been bruised, physically and emotionally
For all who can’t comprehend God and wonder why bad things happen
For all whose hope is like a candle flickering in the wind

Today is our day. Good Friday.
Jesus on the cross crying out,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

God who walks the lonesome valley
Who understands our deepest pains, our deepest longings
Today, Good Friday
You meet us here today and we welcome you.
Be with us we pray. Amen.

LIGHT A CANDLE

THE FIRST WORD
Luke 23:32-38 NRSV

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his leftThen Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
Your forgiving love saves and disturbs me.
Without it, I am lost,
yet, if I receive it, I must practice it.
By your mercy, make me merciful;
by your forgiveness, help me to forgive as I have been forgiven. Amen.

Pause in silence to pray for all who are trapped in bitterness, revenge, and resentment.

May all know the freedom of forgiving as Christ, including me.

THE SECOND WORD
Luke 23:39-43 NRSV

One of the criminals who was hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
Love held you to the cross for my sake, but not mine alone.
Your love is frightening in its breadth and depth;
When I embrace it, it stretches my poor spirit.
Enlarge my heart to make space for your friends;
Let me love as one forgiven. Today. Amen.

Pause in silence to pray for the salvation of all who do not know Christ.

May all place their trust in the saving power of Jesus, including me.

THE THIRD WORD
John 19:25-27 NRSV

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary MagdaleneWhen Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
I give thanks for your mother
and all like her who have borne the pain of loving too deeply.
Thank you for your gift the church.
Help me receive as your gift all whom I encounter, whoever they are,
And to become family to them in Your name. Amen.

Pause in silence to pray for the unity of Christ’s church.

May every congregation embody the love and belonging Christ provides, including mine. 

THE FOURTH WORD
Matthew 27:45-46 NRSV

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Pause in silence to pray for all who are suffering.

Christ is near. Christ understands our pain. May all experience this, including me.

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
There was no suffering like yours.
I am silent in the darkness, Your darkness.
There can be no words, only worship. Amen.

Pause for another moment of silence.

THE FIFTH WORD
John 19:28-29 NRSV

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
All the longing of God,
Through all the ages, for all humanity,
Cries out to me from your cross.
Give me a heart to hear that cry
And a longing to be found by your love. Amen.

Pause in silence to pray for all who are longing- for love, answers, healing, daily bread, justice, hope…

May all find what they need in you, O Christ, including me.

THE SIXTH WORD
John 19:30 NRSV

When Jesus had received the winehe said, “It is finished.”

Silent adoration and wonder

THE SEVENTH WORD
Luke 23:44-43 NRSV

Darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in twoThen Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.

Blow out the candle

ALL:
Rest now, Holy Jesus
Hero of the Cross
Your work is done.
The world has done its sinning,
And you have done your loving
Each beyond limit
And, in the end, limitless love prevails.
Your dying becomes my hope and the hope of the world. Amen.

Pass the peace of Christ to one another.

You can choose to talk about your experience or remain silent until the next morning.

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Service conceived and compiled by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia © 2020
You are welcome to use this service with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa directly for publishing and posting consideration.

Holy Week at Home- Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)

Washing feet by Leszek Forczek

Washing of Feet by Leszek Forczek

Below you’ll find a guide for worshipping at home on Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday. It includes some scriptures from the Last Supper plus some prayers.

The service also includes a time for you to wash one another’s hands or feet, and a time to serve one another Holy Communion.

Our Bishop has given us permission to have “virtual Holy Communion” in this extraordinary time.  This is done in community while participating in an online worship service.

Join us on Facebook Live on Thursday, April 9 at 6:30pm as we worship together
https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/

If your faith tradition has not given this permission, or you’re unable to worship with us live, consider replacing the communion portion of the service with a Love Feast. Instead of serving each other Holy Communion, share testimonies of God’s grace and goodness as you share sweet rolls and drinks. After the sharing, pray for one another and our world.

Here are some questions to get you started if you are having a Love Feast:

  • Where have you seen the goodness of God lately?
  • How did you come to faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior?
  • How are you growing in God’s grace?

What you will need for Holy Week at Home, Maundy Thursday:

  • A candle and something to light it with
  • A large bowl, a pitcher of water, soap, and a hand towel for each person
  • Copies of this resource for each person (optional if you’re joining us for online worship)
  • For Holy Communion- Plain bread, pita, crackers, or matzo. A small cup(s) of grape juice or red wine for each person
  • For a Love Feast- A sweet roll for each person. A cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for each person.

To begin:

  • Gather all you will need for the service
  • Gather your household in a quiet place. Silence all electronics.
  • Join us for the live online worship service.
  • If you are not joining us for the live online worship service, distribute copies of this resource and decide who will lead each prayer and scripture reading.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THIS RESOURCE

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OPENING PRAYERModeled after a Jewish Sabbath prayer
PASTOR
Light the candle

Let’s pray this prayer together. Repeat after me

Merciful God, our Rescuer and Redeemer
Open wide our minds, to receive your Holy Word
sweep hands around to forehead
Open wide our hearts, to receive your saving love
sweep hands around to the chest
Open wide our spirits, and fill us full of light
sweep hands around to a cupped position in front of your chest

JESUS WASHES THE DISCIPLES’ FEET
– John 13:1-17, 34-35 NRSV
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him.

During supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”

WASHING ONE ANOTHER’S HANDS OR FEET
Pastor: As a sign of Christ’s love at work in us, we serve one another and are vulnerable to one another.

One person places their hands or feet over a bowl. Another person pours water over the hand/feet and uses the soap to wash. Take your time and express your care. The hands/feet are rinsed and dried. Repeat for every person present.

THE SERVANT SONG – read or sing
Brother, Sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we’ve known together
of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, Sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

CCLI Song # 72673
Richard Gillard
© Words: 1977 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) Music: 1977 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)
CCLI License # 686715

JESUS REVEALS THOSE WHO WILL BETRAY AND DENY HIM
– John 13:21-30, 36-38 NRSV
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.

One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter, therefore, motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.

After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Later Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Denial, by Steve Garnaas Holmes

ALL:
I deny you, Christ when I deny my own divinity.
I deny you when I deny the divinity of those I condemn.
I deny you when I do not hear you in the oppressed and rejected.
I deny you when I turn from my glorious giftedness.
I deny you when I am afraid to stand with those at risk.
I deny you when in my guilt I doubt your love.

And still, you love.

Let remembering’s bitterness awaken me.
Let my weeping be my wisdom.
To the frightening, to the infinite,
to the compassionate, to the holy,
help me say yes.
Let me die with yes on my lips.

Moment of silence

If you are choosing the Love Feast option, begin now.
When you are finished, read the closing scripture and read/sing the closing song.

THE LAST SUPPER
PASTOR:
After the meal, Jesus prayed a prayer of thanksgiving.
Please repeat after me:

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has saved our ancestors from Egypt
and who is saving us
May your will be done
so your name is glorified in all the earth
and so all people
may be moved to worship you with one accord

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who brings forth bread from the earth

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine
Amen. (end echo)

Then Jesus took the bread, broke it, gave it to those seated around the table and said, “Take, eat, this is my body broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave it to those seated around the table and said, “Drink from this all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant. Poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sin. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us gathered here
And on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world, the Body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
The Seat of Greatest Grace by Steve Garnaas Holmes

ALL
Jesus, my Friend, my Beloved, my Person,
I love you, and I will falter.
I will deny you. I will betray you.
Three times, ten thousand times, I will deny you.

The silver pieces lie in my pocket
I have the nails

And you, knowing, invite me to your table,
to the place of honor even,
this seat of greatest grace, beside you,
to share your bread with me,
and lay down your body for me

I can hardly look into the sun of such forgiveness,
Love’s empty tomb that defeats me, re-makes me.

I confess. I return.
Knowing, I follow,
drawn in your grace,
this burden that is light.

HOLY COMMUNION
Persons serve each other.

JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS FOLLOWERS AND US
John 17, NRSV

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

PASTOR:
After supper, they sang a hymn and left for Gethsemane

OH, HOW HE LOVES YOU AND ME
Oh, how He loves you and me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.
He gave his life, what more could he give?
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how he loves me;
Oh, how he loves you and me.

Jesus to Calvary did go,
His love for sinners to show.
What He did there brought hope from despair.
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how he loves me;
Oh, how he loves you and me.

CCLI Song # 15850
Kurt Kaiser
© 1975 Curb Word Music (Admin. by WC Music Corp.)
CCLI License # 686715

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Service conceived and compiled by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia © 2020
You are welcome to use this service with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa directly for publishing and posting consideration.

Prayer and Reflections for Holy Saturday

holy saturday 2

Hymn text from the Holy Saturday Divine Office

Selection from Holy Week Message by Bishop Sue Harper Johnson, North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (3/28/2018)
I have found that each year I tend to focus on one aspect of Holy Week, usually, one reflecting the current circumstances in my life. This year I have been fixated on Holy Saturday. Let’s face it, Holy Saturday doesn’t get much airtime in the Protestant church. No Easter vigils, baptisms, bonfires, etc. We tend to move quickly from the drama of Good Friday to the joy of Easter morning and often use Saturday for Easter Egg hunts and children’s events.

I don’t think we are giving Holy Saturday its due. It is a day of silence and waiting, a day when the disciples must have contemplated the horror of the crucifixion, agonized over their fear and betrayal and succumbed to the depths of despair. All must have seemed lost.

But while the disciples wandered around in a fog of despair, God was doing God’s finest work. Within the dark and silence of the tomb, God’s resurrection power was bringing life out of death. The tomb became a womb of new life and possibility. And Jesus, firstborn from the dead, laid aside his grave clothes and neatly folded up the cloth from his head. He then headed to hell to proclaim that death had been conquered. And that’s that. The mystery of the ages, the miracle of all miracles, completed in a Saturday.

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience,
for to wait is often harder than to work. – Peter Marshall

Selection from Worship in the Light of the Cross by John Indermar
Holy Saturday awkwardly interrupts the church’s calendar. We read in Luke of the women who rest on this day in Sabbath observance. But we find it hard to replicate their rest in our day.

The prior week’s preparations for palm processions, Passion Week cantatas, and/or seven last word recollections leave little time for decorating sanctuaries and making ready for Easter breakfasts and final practices of brass quartets for Sunday’s alleluias – not to mention eggs to dye and family banquets to prepare. So much to do on Saturday and so little time.

But Holy Saturday offers this advice to activist-bent individuals and congregations and denominations like my own: Don’t just do something, stand there. Sometimes, our busyness cocoons and insulates us from a deep consideration of why we think our lives require constant motion. Busyness has often been a prescription for overcoming grief. Do this, do that, work your way out of it. But once the activity dies down, when exhaustion inevitably sets in, the questions and the pain remain, perhaps aggravated by delay in their contemplation.

The women in Luke [23:55-56] actively engage in the immediate aftermath of crucifixion. They follow to see where the body has been taken. They prepare spices and ointments for anointing the corpse. But instead of pressing ahead in a rush to get things done ASAP, they stop. They keep the sabbath. In Luke’s terms, they rest. Luke’s word Heschazo carries dual meanings of “to keep quiet” and “to cease from labor.” The women keep Saturday’s vigil in stillness and quietness.

Reflection on Waiting by Henri J. M. Nouwen
To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.

Prayer for Holy Saturday by Lisa Degrenia
Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of Hosts,
There are so many things we do not understand

Help us to trust you
even when the situation is desperate and out of control

Help us to follow you
even when the way unclear

Help us to wait and rest
even when every bit of us screams to act

Build in us a faith that perseveres
Even when we can’t see you
Or feel you near
Or understand

Your power and goodness are never diminished
Morning is coming

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Click Here for a video of an ancient homily for Holy Saturday, author unknown

Prayer for Holy Saturday © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
(by Lisa Degrenia, revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.