Holding Vigil: Holy Saturday
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Spiritual Formation Ministries
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. -John 19:38-42
Sometimes, Jesus, the peaceful One, will lead here-
Into the darkness of the tomb,
The necessary waiting
The summons of lament
To feel what must be felt
To lose what must be lost
To grieve what is dying
Before resurrection joy
There is nothing more we can do
But gently release our striving,
Strike a match, light a candle
Hold vigil for the holy not-yet
To make possible the unfathomable.
Bring oils to anoint the body of what was.
Bring grief and lament, the ache of loss.
Bring rage if you must, anger at injustice.
Bring the shock of helplessness
To change the course of events.
Stay as long as you need.
Wait and pray.
Hold this single flame
Into the dark.
Hold your last shard of hope
Into the despair.
Leave when you are ready.
Close up the tomb-
Roll the cool stone across the entrance.
Let the heavy exhale leave your lips
Emptying the deepest spaces within you
As you take one step, and then the next,
Into the lonely, holy night.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Gospel Contemplation (Mark 11:1-11)
Each week during Lent, you are invited to pray with a different gospel story from the life of Christ. Use your senses and imagination to enter the text. Allow it to come to life in you, observing details, noticing interactions, even engaging in dialogue. Notice where you find yourself in the story and how you feel about what is happening. Notice what it evokes in you or invites of you. Take time to journal or enter silent prayer to reflect on your experience and to sense where the Spirit may be leading you through this scriptural encounter.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.