Holy Saturday morning devotion

This is rather long, so I’m putting it behind a “more tag” thingy.  This Holy Sautday morning worship devotional is made up of the following pieces:

  • Opening Sentence
  • Prayers of Confession & Forgiveness
  • Psalms
  • Scripture readings
  • Scriptural responses to the readings
  • the Apostles’ Creed
  • the Lord’s Prayer
  • Certain other collects (stylized prayers) pertaining to today
  • Other general intercessory prayers
  • Closing Sentence


As we go through this strange day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, may this be a blessing to you.

Opening Sentence

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?  Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger. (Lamentations 1:12)

Prayer of Confession

Almighty and most merciful Father,
We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep:
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts: We have offended against thy holy laws:
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done;
And there is no health in us.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders:
Spare thou them, O God, which confess their fault:
Restore thou them that are penitent;
according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

Collect for Forgiveness

Merciful God, grant to your faithful people pardon and peace; that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Leader: Lord, open our lips;
People: and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
People: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

Invitatory Psalm: the Venite (Psalm 95)

O Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise.
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness;
When your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation and said,
“They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

 Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Old Testament Reading: Lamentations 4 & 5

How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed!
The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.
The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold,
how they are regarded as earthen pots, the work of a potter’s hands!
Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young,
but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst;
the children beg for food, but no one gives to them.
Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets;
those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps.
For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment, and no hands were wrung for her.
Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk;
their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form was like sapphire.
Now their face is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets;
their skin has shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as wood.
Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger,
who wasted away, pierced by lack of the fruits of the field.
The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children;
they became their food during the destruction of the daughter of my people.
The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger,
and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.
The kings of the earth did not believe, nor any of the inhabitants of the world,
that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem.
This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests,
who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous.
They wandered, blind, through the streets; they were so defiled with blood
that no one was able to touch their garments.
“Away! Unclean!” people cried at them. “Away! Away! Do not touch!”
So they became fugitives and wanderers; people said among the nations, “They shall stay with us no longer.”
The Lord himself has scattered them; he will regard them no more;
no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders.
Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help;
in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save.
They dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets;
our end drew near; our days were numbered, for our end had come.
Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles in the heavens;
they chased us on the mountains; they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.
The breath of our nostrils, the Lord’s anointed, was captured in their pits,
of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.”
Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, you who dwell in the land of Uz;
but to you also the cup shall pass; you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.
The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished; he will keep you in exile no longer;
but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish; he will uncover your sins.

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace!
Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.
We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows.
We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought.
Our pursuers are at our necks; we are weary; we are given no rest.
We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough.
Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities.
Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand.
We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness.
Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine.
Women are raped in Zion, young women in the towns of Judah.
Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders.
Young men are compelled to grind at the mill, and boys stagger under loads of wood.
The old men have left the city gate, the young men their music.
The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!
For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim,
for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it.
But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations.
Why do you forget us forever, why do you forsake us for so many days?
Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!  Renew our days as of old—
unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

Response: Quærite Dominum (from Isaiah 55)

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there, but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
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 shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.


New Testament Reading: John 19:38-42

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Response: Canticle of Supremacy (from Colossians 1)

Let us give thanks to the Father
for having made you worthy
to share the lot of the saints in light.
He rescued us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved son.
Through him we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the first-born of all creatures.
in him everything in heaven and on earth was created,
things visible and invisible.
All were created through him;
All were created for him.
He is before all else that is,
and in him everything continues in being.
It is he who is the head of the body, the Church,
he who is the beginning
the first-born of the dead,
so that primacy may be his in everything.
It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in him
And, by means of him, to reconcile everything in his person,
both on earth and in the heavens,
making peace through the blood of his cross.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into hell.  On the third day he rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living 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.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Morning Sufferage

Leader: Show us your mercy, O Lord;
People:  And grant us your salvation
Leader: Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
People:  Let your people sing with joy.
Leader: Give peace, O Lord, in all the world,
People:  For only in you can we live in safety.
Leader: Lord, keep this nation under your care;
People:  And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Leader: Let your way be known upon earth;
People:  Your saving health among all nations.
Leader: Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
People:  Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Leader: Create in us clean hearts, O God;
People:  And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Collect for Holy Saturday

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 Collect for Saturday mornings

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world didst rest from all thy works and sanctify a day of rest for all thy creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of thy sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to thy people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Prayer for the Church

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church.
Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purify it;
where it is in error, direct it;
where in anything it is amiss, reform it.
Where it is right, strengthen it;
where it is in want, provide for it;
where it is divided, reunite it;
for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior.

Prayer for the Government

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world:
We commend this nation to thy merciful care,
that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace.
Grant to President Obama and to all in authority,
wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will.
Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness,
and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Prayer for the Poor and the Neglected

Almighty and most merciful God,
We remember before you all poor and neglected persons
whom it would be easy for us to forget:
the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick,
and all who have none to care for them.
Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit,
and to turn their sorrow into joy.
Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son,
who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Closing Sentence

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

About Fr. Brench

I'm an Anglican Priest and a sci-fi geek. Therefore, I write about liturgy & spiritual formation, theology & biblical studies, and Doctor Who. But I keep those blogs separate so I don't confuse too many people!
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