A Prayer for Holy Saturday…

From my run the other day…a light stretching toward both heaven and earth….and the bird…

I’m giving thanks today for the courage, sacrifice, and love of Jesus, and how he points us to the deepest meaning of life. I wrote this prayer for the dark middle time as we await the new life of Easter morning…

Savior Jesus…

I hope I would have been with Joseph of Arimathea…

But would I have been?

Would I have stood vigil beside him,
mixing the myrrh,
tearing the cloth,
swallowing my screams in
the darkest silence?

Would I have wrapped you in
the bands of my own brokenness,
hearing your wailing mother outside
who once tore cloth and wrapped you with
swaddling bands of love and light?

Would I have asked for her courage,
her forgiveness,
a strength I hadn’t had before,
in naming and claiming my discipleship?

Would I have wondered if it was too late to be true to you?
If everything was over?

Would I have strained my eyes and
scanned the inky sky for that star—
something to make me steady
the way you were steady,
unshaken by all that tried to
rattle and unravel your conviction apart?

Would I have felt the damp cold of the cave,
a sacred rock never entered,
a rock hewn for my mortality and limits
which would now hold the body of boundless love?

Would I have vowed to never wash my skin again
so I could smell and feel and remember
the coating of pain?  
How when I put you in the tomb,
I put myself in there too?

Would I have known that anything left in me
needed transformation,
and the only way I could keep living
would be to hold with my hands
and place before my face
what I never wanted to see.

But it’s what I would have needed to see then.
And it’s what I need to see now.

Oh Lord Jesus, help me see!

Help me see you as the Savior you are,
and all that needs saving in my life.

Help me stay with the transformative tomb.

Help me trust it’s not over.

I will wait as long as it takes.


*This prayer was originally published for the Presbyterian Outlook in April 2023.*


    1. Thank you, Jane! I hope you had a beautiful and meaningful Easter!

  1. This prayer spoke to me in trusting it is not over, the transformative Christ is still working and with us. Thank you Rev. Arianne.

    1. Thank you so much, Val! The promise of transformation is such a hope-filled one for me too…

  2. Hi, Arianne,
    My mother is in failing health and since I’m her main care giver besides Good Sam assisted living, I’ve been quite exhausted. So when I woke up this morning and read your Monday Manna, your words gave me such a spiritual lift. This afternoon I used two of your prayers from Ashes and Starlight at my PW coordinating team meeting. Thank you for your excellent writing and help.
    Sincerely, Lisa Tunge,
    PW Moderator,
    First Presbyterian Church , Sioux Falls

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. I am so sorry for the painful stretch you are walking with your mother right now. I know you are accompanying her with such grace and deep love. You are a servant in so many ways and areas, Lisa. May you experience God’s sustaining strength and love for you! You are in my heart.

Comments are closed.