Daily Worship for Holy Week, Holy Saturday, 3 April 2021


Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains that and nothing more; but if it dies it bears a rich harvest.

John 12: 24

All Age Time (for ages 0-100)

For today’s symbol use a round stone, a packet/jar of spice and/or a napkin or handkerchief

Opening Prayer


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

O my people, what have I done to you?
or how have I wearied you? Answer me.
I brought you out of the land of Egypt,
and led you to an exceedingly good land:
and you have prepared a cross for your Saviour.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

I opened the sea before you:
and with a spear you have opened my side.
I went before you in a pillar of cloud:
and you have brought me to the judgment hall of Pilate.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

I fed you with manna in the desert:
and you have beaten me with blows and stripes.
I made you drink the water of salvation from the rock:
and you have made me to drink gall and vinegar.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

I gave you a royal sceptre:
and you have given my head a crown of thorns.
I lifted you up with great power:
and you have hung me upon the gibbet of the cross.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

Through Christ our Saviour we pray. Amen

Bible reading John 19: 38-42

Hymn 403 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? vvs 1-3


Mary Magdalene reflecting at the close of Saturday

I’ve spent the whole of yesterday and today in tears. I just can’t believe it happened. I can’t get my head round the idea that he is dead. It was such a horrible, horrible way to go. Dying is never nice, but for it to happen like that is just so, so wrong. We couldn’t be with him as he breathed his last. We couldn’t prepare his body for burial or go to the funeral. How can you say ‘good-bye’ properly? I’m going along in the morning with his mum and some friends to see if we can get access to the tomb to do the proper last rites.

There is just a huge hole in my life now. He meant everything to me. Peter and the others used to tease me that I fancied Jesus. I don’t. He’s a middle-aged man who shows the scars of years’ of hard work. Physically, as the prophet Isiah said, “he had no beauty to make us take notice of him. There was nothing attractive about him”.

Yet in his personality there was everything to draw us to him. When you were speaking with him he had an amazing knack of making you feel that you were the most important person in the world to him. He was genuinely interested in you. He didn’t talk down to you. He didn’t dismiss you. He made you feel good about yourself, and that your friendship mattered a lot to him.

He had such a gentle voice – you could listen to it for hours. He was so patient with people. He would listen to you for as long as you needed to speak. He did have a temper, but he only ever seemed to use it against people he thought were abusing others.

All meaning and purpose have gone from my life now. My hopes and dreams are shattered, everything that made life worth living. I feel utterly broken. I don’t want to face the future without him. My Jesus is dead. God, if you really are there, why did you let this happen?

Prayers for others

Loving God

People didn’t recognise you in life for who you were

 they didn’t listen to what you were saying –

 only what they wanted to hear

help us to see others as you see them

to accept them, love and care for them as you do

to listen to what they are saying

   instead of always doing all the talking ourselves.

We think on your death, painful and alone

 we pray for those who are lonely and alone today

 those who are in pain, those who are dying.

We think on the different relationships

   between the one on the cross and those who stood at its foot

 we pray for our families and friends

 we pray for all who live with difficult or broken relationships

  all who are grieving, all who struggle with life

We think on the part played by the High Priests and Pilate

 we pray for the civil and religious leaders of our world

 for the communities whom they lead

We bring to you our prayers for people and situations of special concern to us

And we sum up our prayers in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us


Secure in God’s love

 be steadfast in his service

 and the blessing of God Almighty,

 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

 rest and remain with you,

 today, and every day, and for ever. Amen

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