Holy Saturday: Mark 16:1-8 – A new hope

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

MARK 16:1-8

1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Oh, this day of grief.  Can there really be joy?
  • How do you hold grief and joy together at the end of this Holy Saturday?
  • Is this a dream?  Or a vision?
  • Will I wake up tomorrow with the same good news?
  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Mark 16:1-8


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Romans 6:3-11 – A new baptism

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Romans 6:3-11

3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 114:1-8

    1   When Israel went out from Egypt,
    the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
    2   Judah became God’s sanctuary,
    Israel his dominion.

    3   The sea looked and fled;
    Jordan turned back.
    4   The mountains skipped like rams,
    the hills like lambs.

    5   Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
    O Jordan, that you turn back?
    6   O mountains, that you skip like rams?
    O hills, like lambs?

    7   Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
    8   who turns the rock into a pool of water,
    the flint into a spring of water.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Romans 6:3-11
Psalm 114:1-8


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Zephaniah 3:14-20 – A new king

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Zephaniah 3:14-20

14  Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
17  The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18       as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19  I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20  At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the LORD.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 98:1-9

    1   O sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things.
    His right hand and his holy arm
    have gained him victory.
    2   The LORD has made known his victory;
    he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
    3   He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
    All the ends of the earth have seen
    the victory of our God.

    4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
    5   Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody.
    6   With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.

    7   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who live in it.
    8   Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
    9   at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
    He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Zephaniah 3:14-20
Psalm 98:1-9

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Ezekiel 37:1-14 – A new breath

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Ezekiel 37:1-14

1The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 143:1-12

    1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
    give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
    answer me in your righteousness.
    2   Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
    for no one living is righteous before you.

    3   For the enemy has pursued me,
    crushing my life to the ground,
    making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
    sup>4   Therefore my spirit faints within me;
    my heart within me is appalled.

    5   I remember the days of old,
    I think about all your deeds,
    I meditate on the works of your hands.
    6   I stretch out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.                    Selah

    7   Answer me quickly, O LORD;
    my spirit fails.
    Do not hide your face from me,
    or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
    8   Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
    for in you I put my trust.
    Teach me the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.

    9   Save me, O LORD, from my enemies;
    I have fled to you for refuge.
    10  Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God.
    Let your good spirit lead me
    on a level path.

    11  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life.
    In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
    12  In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
    and destroy all my adversaries,
    for I am your servant

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 143:1-12


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Ezekiel 36:24-28 – A new heart

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Ezekiel 36:24-28

24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water upon y7ou, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. 28Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 42:1-11 and 43:1-5

    42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
    2   My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
    When shall I come and behold
    the face of God?
    3   My tears have been my food
    day and night,
    while people say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

    4   These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
    how I went with the throng,
    and led them in procession to the house of God,
    with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
    a multitude keeping festival.
    5   Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help 6and my God.

    My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
    from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.

    7   Deep calls to deep
    at the thunder of your cataracts;
    all your waves and your billows
    have gone over me.
    8   By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

    9   I say to God, my rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
    Why must I walk about mournfully
    because the enemy oppresses me?”
    10  As with a deadly wound in my body,
    my adversaries taunt me,
    while they say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

    11  Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

    43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people;
    from those who are deceitful and unjust
    deliver me!
    2   For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you cast me off?
    Why must I walk about mournfully
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

    O send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
    let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling.

    4   Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy;
    and I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God.

    5   Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Ezekiel 36:24-28
Psalm 42:1-11 and 43:1-5

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 201* The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21;9:4b-6 – A new wisdom

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21;9:4b-6

8:1   Does not wisdom call,
and does not understanding raise her voice?
2   On the heights, beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3   beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
4   “To you, O people, I call,
and my cry is to all that live.
5   O simple ones, learn prudence;
acquire intelligence, you who lack it.
6   Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right;
7   for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8   All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

19  My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
20  I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21  endowing with wealth those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.”

9:4b    To those without sense she says,
5   “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6   Lay aside immaturity, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 19:1-14

    1   The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
    2   Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
    3   There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
    4   yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

    In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
    5   which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
    6   Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them;
    and nothing is hidden from its heat.

    7   The law of the LORD is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
    the decrees of the LORD are sure,
    making wise the simple;

    8   the precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
    the commandment of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eyes;
    9   the fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring for ever;
    the ordinances of the LORD are true
    and righteous altogether.
    10  More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
    sweeter also than honey,
    and drippings of the honeycomb.

    11  Moreover by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
    12  But who can detect their errors?
    Clear me from hidden faults.
    13  Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
    do not let them have dominion over me.
    Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

    14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable to you,
    O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6
Psalm 19:1-14

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Isaiah 55:1-11- A new salvation

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Isaiah 55:1-11

1   Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2   Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3   Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4   See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5   See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

6   Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
7   let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8   For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
9   For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10  For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Isaiah 12:2-62   Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid,
    for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might;
    he has become my salvation.

    3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say
    in that day:
    Give thanks to the LORD,
    call on his name;
    make known his deeds among the nations;
    proclaim that his name is exalted.

    5   Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
    let this be known in all the earth.
    6   Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Isaiah 55:1-11
Isaiah 12:2-6


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-12 – A new reign

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21

14:10As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the LORD. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

15Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”

19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”

26Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

15:20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

    1b  “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;
    horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
    2   The LORD is my strength and my might,
    and he has become my salvation;
    this is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father&rsquos God, and I will exalt him.
    3   The LORD is a warrior;
    the LORD is his name.

    4   “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
    his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
    5   The floods covered them;
    they went down into the depths like a stone.
    6   Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power —
    your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.
    7   In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
    you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble.
    8   At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
    the floods stood up in a heap;
    the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
    9   The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
    I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
    10  You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

    11  “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
    12  You stretched out your right hand,
    the earth swallowed them.

    13  “In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
    you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

    17  You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession,
    the place, O LORD, that you made your abode,
    the sanctuary, O LORD, that your hands have established.
    18   The LORD will reign forever and ever.”

    It is a day to remember there is always hope.

  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Genesis 22:1-18 – A new sacrifice

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Genesis 22:1-18

1After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

9When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”12He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, 18and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 16:1-11

    1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
    2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

    3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
    in whom is all my delight.

    4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names upon my lips.

    5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
    6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    I have a goodly heritage.

    7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
    8   I keep the LORD always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

    9Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
    my body also rests secure.
    10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
    or let your faithful one see the Pit.

    11  You show me the path of life.
    In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Genesis 22:1-18
Psalm 16:1-11


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Genesis 7:1-15, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 – A new covenant

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13

7:1Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. 2Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; 3and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark, 14they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind — every bird, every winged creature. 15They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

17The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.

8:6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. 10He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

13In the six hundred first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15Then God said to Noah, 16“Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh — birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth — so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.

9:8Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 46:1-11

    1   God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
    2   Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
    3   though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.                  Selah

    4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
    5   God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
    6   The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
    7   The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.                                                     Selah

    8Come, behold the works of the LORD;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
    9   He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
    10  “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    am exalted in the earth.”
    11  The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.                                                     Selah

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Genesis 7:1-15, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13
Psalm 46:1-11


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD