An Imaginative Prayer Practice for Holy Saturday

This imaginative prayer practices invites you to into the story of  the women after Jesus’ crucifixion. Follow the instructions below to engage in a meaningful time of prayer.

 

1. Find Stillness.

Find a comfortable seat and silence the noise around you so you can be fully present here and now. Acknowledge the presence of God meeting you in the place where you are.  Perhaps you take a few deep inhales and full exhales with your eyes closed to help you become fully present right here, right now.

 

2. Read the Passage.

Read this passage from Luke belowAs you read, allow your mind to be flooded with imagery of what you would imagine it would be like to be present. Perhaps the idea of imagining yourself as a ‘fly on the wall’ of this first reading:

“Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.

The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.”

 

3. Be Present.

Read the passage again and, this time, imagine being present with the women of the story…

The sabbath begins at sunset. The women, Jesus’ friends and disciples and companions, having just watched a violent, senseless, and heartbreaking killing of their dear friend, had to prepare only as much as they could for the body after watching it being laid in the tomb before the sun went down…

Then all they would do was wait.
The sabbath is a day of rest.
Instead of trying to manage their grief by distracting themselves with doing and keeping busy with activities they had to follow the command to rest.

“Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.

The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.”

 

4. Live the Story.

This is often called, ‘the longest sabbath’. As you read, take the time to reflect on the the woman of the story and your experience as one in the story.
What might they have been feeling?
What might they have been thinking?
What kinds of questions may have been racing through their minds and welling up in their hearts?
What would that long day have been like for you?

“Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.

The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.”

 

5. Reflect with God.

Take some time to reflect on your experience with God. Consider what it would have been like to be with the other women, sharing your sorrow, being able to do nothing other than be fully present to the experience you are having. Perhaps, connect with a friend and talk about your thoughts and feelings coming up for you this Easter.

Take as much time as you’d like reflecting and close your time with God in a way that feels authentic to you. It could be reading through the passage one more time, saying a short prayer of gratitude to God for the experience, taking a deep inhale and exhale, or imagining God present with you right here and now.

 

As you lean into the Longest Sabbath, take time to be intentional.