Opening Sentences  — Psalm 51:15 & Lamentations 3:22-23

Hymn - The Lord’s Abiding Steadfast Love


148 Cosmic praise

1 Alleluia! . . .

Praise the LORD from the heavens,*
praise God in thé heights.
2 Praise God, all you angels,*
praise him, all yóu host.

3 Praise God, sun and moon,*
praise him, shiníng stars.
4 Praise God, highest heavens*
and the waters above thé heavens.

5 Let them praise the name of the LORD.*
The LORD commanded: they wére made.
6 God fixed them forever,*
gave a law which shall not pass áway.

7 Praise the LORD from the earth,*
sea creatures and all thé oceans,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,*
stormy winds that obey Gód’s word;

9 all mountains and hills,*
all fruit trees ánd cedars,
10  beasts, wild and tame,*
reptiles and birds on thé wing;

11 all earth’s nations and peoples,*
earth’s leaders ánd rulers;
12 young men and maidens,*
the old together wíth children.

13 Let them praise the name of the LORD*
who alone is éxalted.
The splendor of God’s name*
reaches beyond the heaven ánd earth.

14 God exalts the strength of the people,*
is the praise of all thé saints,
of the sons and daughters of Israel,*
of the people to whom he cómes close.

Alleluia! . . .

Silent Reflection

108 A confident prayer for victory

2 My heart is ready, O God;*
I will sing, sing yóur praise.
Awake, my soul;*
3 awake, lyre ánd harp,
I will awake thé dawn.

4 I will thank you, LORD, among the peoples,*
among the nations I wíll praise you,
5 for your love reaches to the heavens*
and your truth to thé skies.
6 O God, arise above the heavens;*
may your glory shine ón earth!

7 O come and deliver your friends;*
help with your right hand and ply.
8 From the holy place God has made thís promise:
“I will triumph and divide the land of Shechem;*
I will measure out the valley óf Succoth.

9 Gilead is mine and Manasseh.*
Ephraim I take for my helmet,*
Judah for my commandér’s staff.
10 Moab I will use for my washbowl,*
on Edom I will plant my´ shoe.
Over the Philistines I will shout ín triumph.”

11 But who will lead me to conquer thé fortress?
Who will bring me face to face wíth Edom?
12 Will you utterly reject us, O God,*
and no longer march with oúr armies?

13 Give us help against the foe,*
for human help ís vain.
14 With God we shall do bravely*
and the LORD will trample down oúr foes.

Praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit*
both now and fórever.
The God who is, who was, and is to come*
at the end of thé ages.

Silent Reflection

Scripture Reading  — Genesis 2:1-3

1   Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

Canticle - The Song of Zechariah — Benedictus

Through your holy prophets, you promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us,
to show mercy to our forebears,
and to remember your holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship you without fear,
holy and righteous before you,
all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
to give God’s people the knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.  In the tender
compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall
break upon us, to shine on those who
dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Prayer to Consecrate the Day

Lord, we praise you at the break of day — giving thanks for the power of your love which breaks the bonds of death and darkness.  As the brilliant orb of the sun enlightens our world, may the risen Son enlighten our souls that we may reflect the light of life in all that we do and say.   On this seventh day of the week we offer our glad praise and thanksgiving for the gift of Sabbath.  In wisdom you recognized that work is not complete without the rest which allows us to joyfully embrace the fruits of the labor.
Preserve us this day from the sin of envy — from coveting anything that properly belongs to another, whether material of immaterial.  Strengthen in us the trust which is the heart of faith, that we will have enough, that you know what we need, and that you will continue to be generous.  Soften in us any hardness of heart or mind which keeps us from being teachable.  May we eagerly take upon ourselves your yoke and learn from you —  whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.  Today we are particularly mindful of those for who the tomb of Holy Saturday is real:
† Those for whom life on earth is near its end . . .
† Those who have received devastating news . . .
† Those who do not know how to escape the darkness which surrounds them . . .

We dedicate ourselves to follow in the way of our risen Lord, who lives among us in the power of the Holy Spirit.  
Give us patience in suffering, constancy in affection, compassion in the presence of those who hurt, and strength to endure faithfully beyond each Holy Saturday to the joy of the day of resurrection.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer


[Colossians 3:12-17]
Leader: As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved of God, gather to yourself
compassion, kindness, humility, and patience both with yourself and with
others.  As God has forgiven, so you must also forgive.
People: Let us wrap ourselves in love — a gift from God to a hurting world.

Leader: Let the peace of Christ fill your hearts and be grateful people.  
Let the word of Christ live in you bearing much fruit.  
Teach and correct one another in wisdom.  
Sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude to God —
doing everything you do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
People: Amen.

A sign of peace is exchanged as we depart.