Holy Week 2021 – Saturday

You are invited to walk Holy Week as a Hebrew person in 1st century Palestine. Imagine who you are, why you are in Jerusalem for Passover in the first place, and what you are going to see and feel as the week progresses.

Children’s Time



Mark 15: 40 Some women were watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James (the younger one) and Joses, and Salome.41 When Jesus was in Galilee, these women had followed and supported him, along with many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him.

42 Since it was late in the afternoon on Preparation Day, just before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph from Arimathea dared to approach Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was a prominent council member who also eagerly anticipated the coming of God’s kingdom.) 44 Pilate wondered if Jesus was already dead. He called the centurion and asked him whether Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that Jesus was dead, Pilate gave the dead body to Joseph. 46 He bought a linen cloth, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been carved out of rock. He rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was buried.





from a book of jewish women’s prayers (1995)

Because we give charity on your behalf, dear souls, strengthen us to achieve the right way and not drown in the lusts of this world. Let us not be led astray by the Evil Inclination. By the merit of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the merit of all righteous men and women, may we be found worthy of beholding the reconstruction of the Holy Temple and the resurrection of the dead, speedily and in our time. Amen.


Egeria in the Holy land, c. 380 CE

Egeria was a nun from France who was touring the Holy Land in the late 4th century. She was in Jerusalem during Holy Week and provides the only eye witness account of how the early church celebrated.

On the following day, which is Saturday, there is as usual a service at the third hour and again at the sixth hour. There is no service, however, at the ninth hour on the Saturday, for preparations is being made for the Easter vigil in the major church, the Martyrium. The Easter vigil is observed here exactly as we observe it at home. Only one thing is done more elaborately here. After the neophytes have been baptized and dressed as soon as they came forth from the baptismal font, they are led first of all to the Anastasis with the bishop. The bishop goes within the railings of the Anastasis, a hymn is sung, and he prays for them. Then he returns with them to the major church, where all the people are hoildng the vigil as is customary. Everything is done which is customarily done at home with us, and after the sacrifice (Communion/Eucharist) has been offered, the dismissal is given. After the vigil service has been celebrated in the major church, everyone comes to the Anastasis singing hymns. There, once again, the text of the Gospel of the Resurrection is read, a prayer is said, and once again the bishop offers the sacrifice.

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