Holy Saturday Morning Prayer

Holy Saturday
Morning Prayer from the Divine Office

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, in prayer and fasting, meditating upon his Passion, Death and Descent to the dead, and awaiting his Resurrection.

If you were to go into any Catholic church in the world on this day, it would feel empty. You can feel the emptiness, you can feel a sense that no one is there and it isn’t just because the doors to the tabernacle are open and the body of Christ is no longer there, and the candles have been extinguished either. It is an emptiness you can feel for yourself. No one is there. If you have ever doubted the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist … step into an empty church today and sit for a few minutes and you will understand His true presence in the Eucharist more deeply now, because of His absence.

The Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours, is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer.

Morning Prayer from the Divine Office can be prayed alone, or with a group.

  • When praying in a group, divide the group in half and one side will be left (L) and the other right (R).
  • The psalms are prayed by alternating from one side to the other. Follow the psalms as laid out below.
  • Choose one person to be the leader (Cel).
  • Parts marked ‘All’ are said by all together.

Cel: O Lord, open my lips.
All: And we shall praise your name.

Cel: Invit.Ant: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him

Psalm 94 A Call to praise God

L: Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.

All: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him

R: A mighty God is the Lord
a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his.
To him belongs the sea, for he made it
and the dry land shaped by his hands.

All: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him

L: Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

All: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him

R: O that to-day you would listen to his voice!
Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.

All: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him

L: For forty years I was wearied of these people
and I said: ‘Their hearts are astray,
these people do not know my ways.’
Then I took an oath in my anger:
‘Never shall they enter my rest.’

All: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him

R: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
L: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

ALL: Christ the Lord suffered for us and was buried. Come, let us adore him.

Hymn

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

Cel:Ant. 1: They will mourn for him as for an only son, since it is the innocent one of the Lord who has been slain.

Psalm 63(64)

L: Hear my voice, O God, as I complain,
guard my life from dread of the foe.
Hide me from the band of the wicked,
from the throng of those who do evil.

R: They sharpen their tongues like swords;
they aim bitter words like arrows
to shoot at the innocent from ambush,
shooting suddenly and recklessly.

L: They scheme their evil course;
they conspire to lay secret snares.
They say: “Who will see us?
Who can search out our crimes?”

R: He will search who searches the mind
and knows the depths of the heart.
God has shot them with his arrow
and dealt them sudden wounds.
Their own tongue has brought them to ruin
and all who see them mock.

L: Then will all people fear;
they will tell what God has done.
They will understand God’s deeds.
The just will rejoice in the Lord
and fly to him for refuge.
All the upright hearts will glory.

R: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

L: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

ALL: Ant 1: They will mourn for him as for an only son, since it is the innocent one of the Lord who has been slain.

CEL: Ant. 2: Save my soul from the gates of hell, Lord.

Canticle: Is 38:10-14, 17-20

R: I said, In the noontide of my days I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
for the rest of my years.

L: I said, I shall not see the Lord
in the land of the living;
I shall look upon man no more
among the inhabitants of the world.

R: My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
he cuts me off from the loom;

L: From day to night you bring me to an end;
I cry for help until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
from day to night you bring me to an end.

R: Like a swallow or a crane I clamour,
I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upward.
O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!

L: Lo, it was for my welfare
that I had great bitterness;
but you have held back my life
from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
behind your back.

R: For Sheol cannot thank you,
death cannot praise you;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness

L: The living, the living, he thanks you
as I do this day;
the father makes known to the children your faithfulness.

R: The Lord will save me,
and we will sing to stringed instruments
all the days of our life,
at the house of the Lord.

L:Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

ALL: Ant. 2: Save my soul from the gates of hell, Lord.

CEL: Ant 3: I was dead and I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of hell.

Psalm 150

L: Praise God in his holy place,
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his powerful deeds,
praise his surpassing greatness.

R: O praise him with sound of trumpet,
praise him with lute and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipes.

L: O praise him with resounding cymbals,
praise him with clashing of cymbals.
Let everything that lives and that breathes
give praise to the Lord.

R: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
L: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

ALL: Ant. 3: I was dead and I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of hell.

Scripture Reading

(Hs 6:1-3a)

A reading from the prophet Hosea.

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds; after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence.
This is the Word of the Lord.
ALL: Thanks be to God

ALL: Ant: Christ humbled himself for us, and, in obedience, accepted death, even death on a cross. Therefore God raised him to the heights and gave him the name which is above all names.

CEL: Benedictus Ant.: Save us, Saviour of the world. By the cross and the shedding of your blood you have redeemed us. Come to help us, Lord our God.

L: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel!
He has visited his people and redeemed them.

R: He has raised up for us a mighty saviour
in the house of David, his servant,
As he promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were his Prophets from of old.

L: A saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands all who hate us.
So his love for our fathers is fulfilled
and his holy covenant remembered.

R: He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us
that free from fear and safe from the hands of our foes,
we might serve him with holiness and justice
all the days of our life in his presence.

L: As for you little Child,
you shall be called a Prophet of God the most high.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare his ways before Him,

R: To make known to his people their salvation
through forgiveness of all their sins,
The loving kindness of the heart of our God
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

L: To give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death,
and guide us into the way of peace.

R: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
L: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

ALL: Benedictus Ant.: Save us, Saviour of the world. By the cross and the shedding of your blood you have redeemed us. Come to help us, Lord our God.

ALL: Intercessions
Let us pray to our redeemer, who suffered for us, was buried and rose from the dead.
R. Lord, have mercy on us.

ALL: Christ our Lord, you saw your mother standing by the Cross; may we share your saving passion in our time of suffering.
R. Lord, have mercy on us.

ALL: Christ, our Saviour, you died like a grain of wheat falling to the ground; gather us to yourself in the harvest of redemption.
R. Lord, have mercy on us.

ALL: Christ, our shepherd, lying in the tomb you were hidden from all; teach us to love our real life, which is hidden with you in God.
R. Lord, have mercy on us.

ALL: Christ, the new Adam, you went down into the world of the dead to free the just; may those who are dead in sin hear your voice and live.
R. Lord, have mercy on us.

ALL: Son of the living God, we were buried with you in baptism; let us rise with you, alive to God for ever.
R. Lord, have mercy on us.

CEL: Let us now pray in the words our Saviour gave us
ALL: Our Father, …

Concluding Prayer

CEL: Almighty, ever-living God,
whose only begotten Son descended to the realm of the dead,
and rose from there to glory,
grant that your faithful people,
who were buried with him in baptism,
may, by his resurrection, obtain eternal life.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

ALL: Amen.

Final Blessing & Dismissal

CEL:
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.

ALL: Amen.