Opening Prayer

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 we 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. (BCP 221)



Mark 15:42-47 NRSV

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where the body was laid.



It is finished; he is dead.

The body is secured, the funeral arrangements made, the stone rolled against the door. But the women are watching, noting the place, hinting that more will follow. We know a routine embalmment will become something much more; we know that when darkness falls the fire is lighted and the Easter Vigil begins. But let us not be too hasty to leave this place of mourning; the Son of God, mystery of mysteries, is encased within a rock, and it all is so because of us.


Ah, give me, Lord, my sins to mourn,
My sins which have Thy body torn;
Give me with broken heart to see
Thy last tremendous agony,
To weep o’er an expiring God,
And mix my sorrows with Thy blood.

O could I gain the mountain’s height,
And look upon that piteous sight!
O that with Salem’s daughters I
Might stand and see my Savior die,
Smite on my breast, and inly mourn,
But never from Thy cross return!

— Charles and John Wesley, Hymns on the Lord’s Supper #6