Throughout history Christians have utilized multiple postures in worship, because the posture of our bodies affects the posture of our hearts. To remind us that we are joined with Christ in his death (Rom. 6:3), we invite you to kneel down throughout this ten-minute liturgy.
Leader: Let us pray.
O God of the living, on this day your Son our Savior descended to the place of the dead: Look with kindness on all of us who wait in hope for liberation from the corruption of sin and death, and give us a share in the glory of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
If several family or household members are present, different people may read each lesson.
1 Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
2 He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
3 And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?
4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
5 Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
6 look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
11 As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
12 so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.
13 Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come.
Psalm 130 read responsively or antiphonally, or in unison
1 Out of the deep have I called unto you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
2 O let your ears consider well
the voice of my supplications.
3 If you, Lord, were to mark what is done amiss,
O Lord, who could abide it?
4 For there is mercy with you;
therefore you shall be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;
in his word is my trust.
6 My soul waits for the Lord,
more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, trust in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy,
and with him is plenteous redemption;
8 And he shall redeem Israel
from all their sins.
1 Peter 4:1–8
1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
The Anthem (read in unsion)
from the traditional Service for the Burial of the Dead
Man born of woman has but a short time to live,
and is full of misery.
He springs up, and is cut down like a flower;
he flees like a shadow,
and never continues the same.
In the midst of life we are in death:
of whom do we seek strength,
but you, O Lord,
who for our sins are justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord God most holy,
O Lord most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Savior,
deliver us not into the pains of eternal death.
You know, O Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
shut not your ears to our prayer;
but spare us, Lord most holy,
O God most mighty,
O holy and merciful Savior,
most worthy Judge eternal,
do not let us, in our final hour,
through the pain of death, fall away from you.
Pray in unison the Lord’s Prayer. The concluding doxology is customarily omitted.
Our Father who art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our coming day’s bread;
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
And lead us not into trial, but deliver us from the Evil One.
Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14