Holy Week: Praying Our Way Through (Also good for Palm Sunday)
Palm Sunday: Waiting for the Stones
At the Table: Not I, Lord
Holy Saturday: Pausing for Grief (Slides Version here) , Living in the In Between, Holy Saturday: A Confession (I didn’t really want more time to do nothing)
Pentecost: Stuck in a Room
Please feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
God, what was it like to take the Holy Pause of Saturday? Did you practice Sabbath while Jesus, your only son, had died?
Did you sit in a comfortable corner and let yourself cry?
Did you practice breathing, slowly, in and out, trying to find ways to regulate once again?
Did you embrace despondency?
Did it feel like the world had stopped? Did you feel slammed by the bad news–even though you knew it was coming? Did you have to sit for a minute to take in the fullness of its meaning?
Did you simply, actually, pause the world for a few so you could keep your rainbow promises?
Did you feel frustrated that after all you had done, and tried, that Jesus died anyway?
Did you take comfort in sitting with the disciples and Mary, and Mary and Martha as they moaned?
Did you make yourself useful, keeping busy helping all the humans who were in pain, so you could better process your own?
Did you just sleep all day, and try to forget the world existed?
Lord God, I have a sneaking suspicion that Saturday is Holy because it legitimizes our pain, our loss, our anger at injustices, our impatience with the waiting for peace, our heartbrokenness with the state of the world, our feeling of helplessness to be of help to anyone or anything.
And yet, You give us permission to take the time to sit with the pain. You give us the space we need to do absolutely nothing (at first) in response to the evil in the world. You do not barge in with good news or toxic positivity. You let resurrection sneak into our hearts, little by little.
Thank you God for this time and space.
Thank you for being a God who fully experiences the range of emotions and reactions we have.
Thank you for being our God and sitting with us.
Let us sit together a little longer………………………………
Feel free to use/adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
I’ve never been good at waiting. I am impatient and like to keep my hands busy.
Were the women keeping their hands busy when they mixed the spices on Holy Saturday for God? Didn’t they know that Joseph of Arimathea, along with Zaccheus? The high falutin politicians had already moved and covered Jesus with spices?
Was it common to do it more than once? Did the women decide to do it anyway to make sure it was done right?
Did they just need to see & touch dead Jesus with their own hands?
Or were they just keeping their hands busy, choosing and blending the spices, grinding them up with olive oil. Putting them into vessels suitable to journey to Jesus.
Or were they plotting to steal the body of Jesus? Ready to run the risk of the wrath of Herod to make Jesus’ resurrection real in their own way?
If I were them I would not have slept much, I would go at dawn because once I figured out what I was going to do I’d work all night doing it, planning to leave at first light.
I’ve never been good at waiting Lord, and my bet is neither were Mary and Mary Magdalene.
How am I going to keep busy this Saturday?
Help God, help me to do what needs to be done, so that I can do the waiting that needs to be waited, I pray. Amen.
More Pandemic Prayers
Why is it called Holy Saturday?
I know many people pass the time on Holy Saturday by holding a vigil and reading through scripture.
But the truth is, when the disciples where waiting on Saturday, they were doing nothing. Holed up in their house they were hiding from the Empire.
They were awaiting their own death. Probably wondering out loud why Jesus had to die, wondering why he had to die a heretic, laid upon a cross that meant your were destined for hell.
It was a room that smelled of fear and death. It was a place where the disciples took cold comfort with one another, no doubt trying to ignore Peter’s pleas that he didn’t meant to deny Jesus. No doubt wondering if they were supposed to steal the body.
Women were sent. They were thought to be harmless. Women prepared Jesus for the tomb with the wrappings and the spices to hide the bad smell. They moved him to the cavern in the garden, where the guards watched to make certain no mischief was done. They were the worthless, but essential workers of the day.
We are in a sort of Holy Saturday ourselves, waiting for the word for the all clear. Hearing stories of who has died, and the suffering they have undergone.
We are experiencing the interminable wait, the timeframe is unknown, the hope is thin, and the loneliness is impenetrable.
Families are worried and separated from one another. And the world is slowly falling apart. And the world is a dark and scary place.
We can see the cornerstones of our lives being deconstructed. The things we depend upon are changing: the routines are gone, the securities are unreliable: school, work, church are crumbling.
Holy Saturday is what happens under the waters of baptism, I wonder if that’s what happens when you say goodbye to a loved one who has died who you can no longer see on earth. I wonder if Holy Saturday is where we are as we wait for the second coming of Christ.
Holy Saturday is the gap in scripture, undefined by the stories, left wide open in the yawning space of time.
Holy Saturday is now. The time between sickness and the cure. It’s the time before the temple is rebuilt. It’s the time when the cracks in society are splitting apart. It’s the time when the gaps are made clear, for when the rebuilding needs to happen.
And we await the healing, sabbath, wholeness of Easter and the time we can be together.
Somehow, this dark waiting time can be Holy too.
More Pandemic Prayers
I confess that when I said I didn’t have enough time, I didn’t mean it. When I said I didn’t want to work, or that I wanted to be alone, or even that I wanted more time with my family. In fact, I don’t think this was what I meant at all. I didn’t know what I was praying for when I wished for a staycation.
What I realize I meant was that I have trouble prioritizing. What I realize now is that I really don’t know who or what is essential. What I meant was, I was burnt out and caring for all the things I needed to care about (or all of the things I thought I needed to care about) was very, very hard. I confess now that I have this gift of time, I don’t know what to do with it. Help me to be ok with that I pray.
Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail. My go fundme is located at gf.me/u/y8n94m
Also See my more Mundane Prayers: Prayers for Surviving Day to Day
Abundance of Caution Prayer
Flattening The Curve Prayer
Best Laid Plans Prayer
Viral Prayers: Litany for Help & of Thanksgiving
Act of God Prayer, What is an act of God
Pandemic Beatitudes: Blessings & Curses
Nothing will ever be the Same Again: Temples & Resurrection
Maundy Thursday Prayer
Presence Over Perfection (& Easter)
Denial & Grace in Crises: Good Friday
Essential Workers at the Cross
Thank God it’s Friday? Psalm 22 Good Friday
I hate waiting: Holy Saturday Prayer
Virtual Communion: a Meditation/Prayer
Holy Saturday Meditation
Holy Saturday: A confessional prayer about too much time
Say Nothing Easter (Mark)
Can You Hear Easter? (The good news) Mark
Body of Christ: Essential workers, we need one another
Love One Another: The Value of Caring
Socially Distanced God: the struggle
The Moment for a Psalm (Because I don’t know how things work anymore)
In this Smoosh of Time Prayer for Groundhog Day
A Prayer about Masks in the Bible
End of My Rope Prayer
The Lord is My Shepherd: Sheep Scale Prayer
Kingdom of Heaven (Vaccination) Prayer
Prayer of the Pandemic Era (It ain’t over yet)
Blessed are those who stay home and wait for the resurrection not as a date on the calendar but the as the return to wholeness, health and peace in the community
Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail. My go fund me is located at gf.me/u/y8n94m
Saturday is the breath caught, chest aching,
Its the moment when you don’t know if you are going to celebrate or cry
The heartbeat of one in the womb, the phone call with good or bad news, the applications that are awaiting decision.
Saturday is running the race, but not yet knowing who is going to win,
Its crying so much that you can’t recognize the person standing in front of you
Its the why moment.
Why, why, why? Why does this happen? What does this mean? What is the purpose behidn it all.
Saturday is the day of unanswerable questions,
the time of tangled mysteries,
the moment of mindless emotions.
Remember, God gives us that uncertainty, blesses it, and reminds us that we all have that moment of throat-catching, almost-not breathing.
The moment of full humanity,
Because God wants to remind us that our God is the one who catches us by surprise.
Even when we supposedly know what’s going to happen.
Maybe its should be known as Surprising Saturday Instead.
Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.