Visual Devotions for Holy Week – Holy Saturday

1 Comment » Written on April 10th, 2009     
Filed under: Formation, Holy Week

The drama and emotion of Good Friday is over.  The crowds are gone, the cross is empty, and Jesus’ body is in the tomb.  It is shabat (the Sabbath).  It is a time of waiting, of resting, for no labor can be done on shabat.  Today, Holy Saturday, is a day for us to wait and rest too.  It is a day to try and grasp all that has occurred this Holy Week; to try and make sense of it all.  We have the perspective of history to help us, but for now—just for a little while—see if you can feel what those who loved and followed Jesus felt on that Saturday long ago.  In their grief and disillusionment, they did not remember all that Jesus had said and done to prepare them for this terrible event, nor were they able to theologize and make sense of this whole tragedy, using references from the prophets and other sacred writings.  All they knew was that Jesus, their Rabbi/Teacher, their Master—the one they had followed, lived with, trusted—was dead.

 May these photos and readings help you to reflect and make new sense of the meaning of Christ’s passion and death. They are part of the event that changed all of human history—indeed, all of creation! There is so much here to ponder and glean.  What new insights might the Holy Spirit bring to mind for you today?

Readings for Holy Saturday:  (a collection of texts and verses related to the events of Holy Week)  Psalm 22:1/18, Psalm 34:20, Psalm 35:19, Psalm 41:9, Psalm 69:4, Psalm 88, Psalm 118:22-23/25-26, Isaiah 52:13-15, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11, Zechariah 9:9, Zechariah 11:12-13, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 13:7, Deuteronomy 21:22-23, John 6:39


Candles next to the altar above Calvary in the Holy Sepulcher Church.

Candles in the “Chapel Of Finding the Cross” in the Holy Sepulcher Church.

Waiting to enter the Tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulcher Church.

Numerous crosses carved by medieval pilgrims into the walls along the stairway leading to the Chapel of St. Helena in the Holy Sepulcher Church.  Helena was Constantine’s mother, who visited the Holy Land and was instrumental in identifying various holy sites from the life of Christ.

Close-up of one of the ancient carved crosses.

Altar in St. Andrew’s Church in Jerusalem.

Pathway inside the Garden Tomb, between Golgotha and the tomb. 

Space in front of the Garden Tomb itself. 

The altar and Greek Orthodox crucifix over the top of Calvary in the Holy Sephulcher Church.

Close-up of the crucifix.


Prayer for Today:  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 I 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.  Amen.  (from “Praying the Divine Hours” by Phyllis Tickle)








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