Peter's Blog

Family Worship for Holy Saturday

Written by Peter Johnston on .

As part of a continuing collaboration with Spill the BeansFischy Music and Rev Gayle Taylor to bring family-oriented worship resources to you for Holy Week, here are some ideas for Good Friday compiled and prepared by our own Rev Peter Johnston.


Today is Holy Saturday.
Yesterday we remembered the death of Jesus.
Tomorrow we will celebrate his resurrection.
But today is Holy Saturday—
it is not time for Easter Eggs yet.

Today is a day in which we are encouraged
to think about life and death:
to wonder what happens to us when we die.
It is a day to think about the dead:
our friends,
our families,
those we will never know.

Jesus is no stranger to human death.
He has been there before us.
Death and life are part of who we are,
part of what makes us human,
part of being mortal and alive.

On Holy Saturday
we remember those who have died
and know them to be safe in God.


When we are living
Words: Mexican trad (v.1), Roberto Escamilla (vv. 2-4), John L Bell (English version)


Read together from your Bible Mark chapter 15, verses 46-47 or use:

Joseph bought some linen cloth, took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in the linen. He put the body in a tomb that was cut in a wall of rock. Then he closed the tomb by rolling a very large stone to cover the entrance. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw the place where Jesus was laid.


It was the least I could do,
this one last thing for Jesus,
when I think of all he did for me,
for so many others,
bringing laughter and life,
hope and joy,
and now…
well, this is not how we expected it to end.

But I couldn’t just leave him there,
the ravens circling above,
I had to lay him to rest.

The tomb I had prepared for myself
was sitting empty, thankfully,
so that is where I took Jesus’ body,
wrapping it carefully in cloths.

I offered my own prayer for him,
and then I rolled the stone to protect the entrance
from wild dogs and foxes.

And I went home,
nodding to the Mary’s who had watched all I did,
tears rolling down their faces,
and I sat as the darkness came,
wondering if that was it.


Have you ever visited a cemetery?
Perhaps you have a family member
who is buried in a cemetery that you can visit.
Not everyone does, but many people do.
It can be strange to visit,
knowing that the body of your loved one is beneath you,
and yet that their soul is with God.

Going to visit a tomb or graveside
can help us to remember that person,
it is time we set aside to be with our memories of them,
but we can find many other ways to hold on to those memories.

What do you do to hold on to your precious memories?
Could you keep a diary?
Draw a picture?
Or tell a story?

Fischy Song / Activity

You will need: the cross and ripped cloths you made yesterday, red felt tip pens, flowers.

Take the cloths that you had written or drawn on yesterday and ripped apart. Draw red heart shapes amidst the thoughts you had written yesterday, to represent love and good memories that can drown out the negative ideas.

When you have done this, take the cloths and wrap them around the cross carefully and respectfully, as if wrapping a body ahead of burial. Ask the children to find a safe place either inside the house or in your garden where you can lay the wrapped body to rest.

If you have flowers growing in the garden, cut one and lay it on top of the cross.

[Note that on Easter morning you may want to place an Easter egg in that place having removed the cross after the children have gone to bed.]

Children’s Prayer

By Harriet and Robert (from Ferryhill Parish Church)

thank you for the memories
you have helped provide
and thank you for the memories
you will provide
for us in the future.

Please watch over us
as we create new memories
even if we may not know it yet,
and look after those
who are only in our memories.

Those who have left us to be under your care
we keep close to our hearts
through fond memories.

Thank you for giving us
the people and opportunities
to be able to have the memories
which keep us going
even on the darkest days.

All-Age Prayer

We give thanks for kindness,
for Joseph who looked after Jesus’ body,
for all who helped,
for the women who kept watch
and did what they could.

God everyday show us ways to be kind.

May we build up special memories
by finding, in every day,
a way we can be kind to one another
knowing that every kindness is an act of love.

Jesus, your living and dying modelled love for us.
As we remember you today may we want to follow you in love.