Holy Saturday 2020

On Holy Saturday we think of Jesus’ body in the tomb.

Fichier: Stations of the Cross, 14, Saint-Jean-Baptiste au Beguinage, Brussels
© Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA.

It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
Mark 15 verses 42 to 47.

A Victorian hymn for Holy Saturday

By Jesus’ grave on either hand
While night is brooding o’er the land
The sad and silent mourners stand.

At last the weary life is o’er,
The agony and conflict sore
Of him who all our sufferings bore.

Deep in the rock’s sepulchral shade
The Lord, by whom the world was made,
The Saviour of mankind is laid.

O hearts bereaved and sore distressed,
Here is for you a place of rest:
Here leave your griefs on Jesus’ breast

On your own – but still connected…

A suggestion originating from Bishop Keith (our Acting Bishop of Chester) for a simple way of praying on your own but still feeling connected with your church family 🙂

Take one hand and look at…

Your thumb – pray for your family and church community, for all those who minister in our parishes and chaplaincies;
Your first finger – pray for the NHS, all emergency services, carers and support workers, all patients suffering from other diseases or chronic conditions, and for medical researchers looking for a vaccine against COVID-19;
Your second finger – pray for the Government and its advisers, for local government councillors and employees, for the self-employed, for those on universal credit, for those who make policies and laws, and all those making tough decisions;
Your third finger – pray for care homes, for staff working in retail, utilities and education, for all volunteers and charities, for the homeless, prisoners and all refugees, and those working with the most vulnerable in our communities;
Your little finger – pray for particular individuals known to you, for those whose relationships are under strain, for the anxious and fearful, and for yourself as a special child of God.

Each prayer focus for each thumb and finger could itself open up into prayer personally, locally, nationally, and globally.

Take the other hand and read out loud:
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12)
and let your thumb and each finger represent one of these “clothes” we are to put on:

Thumb – compassion
First finger – kindness
Second finger – humility
Third finger – meekness
Little finger – patience

Then put your hands together, and let the “clothing” of one hand touch the people and places in the other, as you offer up your heartfelt prayers to God…

Maybe prayer like this could become part of our daily rhythm in this strange new time for us all. This Sunday night, if you can, wherever you are, light a candle at 7.00pm, and cry out to God in prayer for ourselves, our country and our world.

A Springtime Prayer…

… written by a young member of our congregation

Tyler before the Pet Blessing Service summer 2017

I love the nature as much as you do, God. The river flows as Jesus goes. God, please protect nature. All the poor and all the endangered animals, protect them. God, I wish that one day I will see you. I wish that all the bad people become good and all the litter is cleared one day. Dear God, all the poor – give them more – as you can.

Amen.

Tyler (a Year One pupil at St John’s School)

New – Parish Prayers at Home

Third Friday of the month – 2.30-3.30pm

At our last GAP meeting it was decided to start an informal monthly prayer meeting. Its purpose will be to pray for the needs of the parish. Meetings will be held in someone’s house as arranged each time.

If you would like to come along, or if you have anything that you would like to pray for specifically, please contact Maggie O’Donnell 01625 572711 or Anne Coombes 01625 571144.

The first meeting is on Friday 16 February.

Thy Kingdom Come

Between 25th May and 4th June, communities and churches around the world are gathering together to pray that their friends, families and neighbours come to know Jesus Christ. Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days, including 24-7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Cathedrals, churches and other venues will host Beacon Events, gathering people across towns and cities to worship and to pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness. Link to website

St Oswald’s will be open for prayer from 8.30 until dusk, from Wednesday 31 May until Saturday 3 June with a focus on the Archbishops’ initiative: “Thy Kingdom Come”