'Holy Saturday' by Kevin Nichols

And so death proves our true geography 
The coastline to the island of our days. 
Is not the leaf mould of last autumn’s holocaust
the sepulchre of tomorrow’s aconite? 
Does not death define life, yielding 
the last, long logic of reality? 
May we not say that though death is our ending 
it holds life in gestation as the night 
is the womb of day, and as awakening 
circumscribes sleep, entombing it with brightness? 
We move among these images, are becalmed 
between question and answer; truth’s awful brilliance 
dazzles the occluded vision of our hope.

Be still, be hushed then, now that death’s bright shadow 
falls like a laser-beam across the sundial.
Twilight thickens among the olive trees
and in the garden all the flowers close.
Rest now, bright hero among the cool shadows, 
your agony won, night transubstantiates
the sour dough of our quotidian bread. 
Golden, the daybreak of the first Sunday 
shall fill the fields of sky with a ripening 
harvest of Orient and immortal wheat.

I couldn’t find any information on the author or the publication of the poem, sorry. It was taken off a website with no credit.


Collect for Holy Saturday (Book of Common Prayer):

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Salvador Dali’s ‘The Sacrament of the Last Supper’

The Sacrament of the Last Supper is a painting by Salvador Dalí. Completed in 1955, after nine months of work, it remains one of his most popular compositions. Since its arrival at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1955, it replaced Renoir’s A Girl with a Watering Can as the most popular piece in the museum.

The Sacrament of the Last Supper was completed during Dalí’s post-World War II era, which is characterized by his increased interest in science, optical illusion and religion. During this time he became a devout Catholic and simultaneously was astonished by the “atomic age”. Dalí himself labeled this era in his work “Nuclear Mysticism.”


In 2012, Michael Anthony Novak published an influential essay on the painting. Here are some excerpts:

Instead of painting a historical Last Supper as Leonardo did, Dalí gives us the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

The real presence is a cornerstone of Catholic spirituality. The mystical aspect of the doctrine caught Dalí’s attention. The classic definition of a sacrament (a visible sign of an invisible reality) conveys well the Catholic understanding. On the table are the bread and wine. Also depicted is the invisible reality—Christ, the sacrament of God on earth, the Father in this mystical 12-sided heaven—truly and really present to those who receive him.

Dalí’s intention is to make visible what occurs in every celebration of the Mass: that the worship on earth makes present the realities of the worship in heaven. The real presence of Christ means the real presence of the Father. The community drawn together in recognition of this miracle—the church—reveals the real presence of the Holy Spirit.Where the Trinity is, heaven is: unseen with our eyes, but sensed and recognized in our prayer.

Michael Anthony Novak

Novak writes, The two gestures of Jesus come from an account in John’s Gospel on the night of the Last Supper. When Philip asks Jesus to “show us the Father,” Jesus replies, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” As portrayed by Dali, Christ’s left hand points to “me” and the right, to the “Father” above.

Novak concludes: “It is heaven that is present, heaven is the space in which the event we see in the painting is taking place. It is the figure of the Father, then, who fills both heaven and earth as they are presented in this painting, with His outstretched arms taking in the whole of space.”

Also see more helpful commentary at

Hallelu Jah! My Redeemer! (Jason French)

Jason French is a friend who, until recently, was one of the worship leaders at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a very gifted composer and jazz keyboardist, among many talents, now studying at a seminary. Here’s a photo of his lovely family:

He just released a new song and writes, “On this ‘Good Friday’ we remember and rejoice that Jesus was made sin for our good. His death paid the penalty for our sin, he bore God’s wrath in our place, he suffered so that we could enjoy peace with God and joy everlasting, by his grace, through his gift of faith. Have a “Good” Friday. Sunday’s comin’!!!”

WORTHY - Feat. Yahaira Morales & Andy Delos Santos

Eric Lige is a friend, composer, recording artist and marvelous leader of multicultural worship. He and friends are releasing a masterpiece of multicultural worship music called ‘The Ethnos Project.’


Here’s a just-released song from this album:


Lyrics & music by Kathryn Cheng
©2014 Kathryn Cheng Music/BMI

Roemer Collective - ‘Good Friday’ (Germany)

"ROEMER is a project started by Benjamin Roemer Seidl along with dear friends, based out of Berlin, Germany. We make music with bells & whistles….”


They sing some songs in German; here’s one in English about Good Friday:

'Behold The Wood Of The Cross' (Jesuits)

Here’s a song for Good Friday that is new to me, sung by the St. Louis Jesuits.

It was composed by Dan Schutte and is recorded on their 1996 album (OCP) called ‘Lift Up Your Hearts Vol 1.’

Behold, behold the wood of the cross  
On which is hung our salvation.  
 O come, let us adore.   
1  Unless a grain of wheat shall fall upon the ground and die,  
It shall remain but a single grain and not give life.   
Behold, behold the wood of the cross  
On which is hung our salvation.  
 O come, let us adore.   
2  And when My hour of glory comes as all was meant to be,  
You shall see Me lifted up upon a tree.   
Behold, behold the wood of the cross  
On which is hung our salvation.  
 O come, let us adore.   
3  For there can be no greater love shown upon this land  Than in the One who came to die that we might live.   
Behold, behold the wood of the cross  
On which is hung our salvation.  
 O come, let us adore

You can buy various scores for the song from OCP at


This digital artwork is by Bruce Rolff and is available at

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty - The Power Of The Cross

Here’s a marvelous song I’ve used in services before, composed by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. Here’s a congregational version led by Stuart.

Stuart posted a chord chart PDF at

In this short video, Keith shares about the writing process of “The Power of the Cross” from both the melodic and lyrical perspectives. They worked on the song for over a year before coming to the final version.

Here’s a different arrangement in a different key, led by the Gettys.

In the Garden [of Gethsemane] -Bob Dylan, He Qi

Bob Dylan released his gospel album ‘Slow Train Coming’ in the 80s. Here’s a song he composed about the Garden of Gethsemane.

This performance is from a DVD called “Bob Dylan & The Heartbreakers: Live in Australia” (1986). It has Portuguese subtitles since it’s from the Brazilian version. 

Here’s a painting of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (with 3 sleeping disciples), by acclaimed artist from China, He Qi. I’ve loved his art for probably a decade, finally got to meet him a year or two ago.



The Last Supper (John Coburn, Australia)

The Last Supper
Artist: John Coburn, Australia, 2006


In Coburn’s painting the table is large and seventeen people are seated on all four sides, all the way around, and it includes men and women. Flanking the table are four standing people - two women and two men- who are serving the meal

"Only the names of the 12 male apostles are mentioned in the gospels, but it is noteworthy that 12 women disciples are also mentioned in ministerial capacities: 1. Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:38, John 19:25) 2. Mary’s sister, Jesus’ aunt (John 19:25) 3. The mother of James and John Zebedee (Matthew 27:55-56) 4. Mary Magdalene (John 20:16) 5. Joanna, wife of Chuza (Luke 8:3) 6. Salome (Mark 15:40-41) 7. Susanna (Luke 8:3) 8. Mary, wife of Cleopas (John 19:25) 9. Simon Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:15) 10. Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus (John 11:27) 11. Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 12:3) 12. The Samaritan woman (John 4:39) Source: J. J. McKenzie, 1994, p. 292.”

You’ll find 56 Wikipedia articles related to “women and Christianity” at

John Coburn was born in Ingham, Queensland in 1925. Coburn studied art at the National Art School, Sydney from 1947 to 1950 where he taught for several years and was later appointed the Head of School from 1972 to 1974. 

In his formative years, Coburn was influenced by the vividly coloured abstract works emerging through the Modernist movements in Europe; as seen in Cubist works by Pablo Picasso and Fauvist works by Henri Matisse. Also Coburn was drawn to the Abstract Expressionist movement in America, particularly inspired by the work of painter, Mark Rothko. 

John Coburn’s art is amongst the most highly recognised in Australian art making. Coburn has received numerous accolades for his paintings, tapestries and screenprints and has completed several large commissions that include two large tapestries for the Sydney Opera House; and a series of seven tapestries for the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC. 


Finding Jesus in dirty feet (Terry A. Modica)

Why did Jesus wash the feet of his disciples? Not because they were too lazy to handle their own hygiene and as their servant he wanted to make life easy for them! Rather, he gave them (and us) a model to imitate.

Naturally, we want Jesus to make our lives easier. Isn’t that the purpose behind many of our prayers? Well, surprise! We do get what we ask for, but not the way we had imagined. When we imitate Jesus, it’s the way we cope with the difficulties of life that becomes easier.

Have you washed anyone’s feet lately? Maybe you haven’t literally soaped up a friend’s smelly feet as a sign of your unconditional love, but I’m sure you have given of yourself in a foot-washing way.

To wash the feet of others is to love them even when they don’t deserve your love.

To wash the feet of others is to do good to them even if they don’t return the favor.

To wash the feet of others is to consider their needs as important as your own.

To wash the feet of others is to forgive them even if they don’t say, “I’m sorry.”

To wash the feet of others is to serve them even when the task is unpleasant.

To wash the feet of others is to let them know you care when they feel downtrodden or burdened.

To wash the feet of others is to be generous with what you have.

To wash the feet of others is to turn the cheek instead of retaliating when you’re treated unfairly.

To wash the feet of others is to make adjustments in your plans so you can serve their needs.

To wash the feet of others is to serve them with humility and not with any hope of reward.

Notice the posture of Jesus. He knelt. Imagine Jesus kneeling in front of you now, lowering himself to the level of your feet and tenderly ministering to your needs. He is in fact doing this, right now, today. And he will do it again and again, as often as you need him to care about you!

He is asking you to go and do likewise: Be the hands of Jesus that wash the feet of the people around you. You are the answer to their prayers!

By serving others, we gain understanding of what Jesus did for us 2000 years ago – and we become more observant of how he’s ministering to us. We meet Jesus in the dirty feet that we lower ourselves to clean.

© 2014 by Terry A. Modica


Some of the greatest acts of worship we can do are expressing love through such metaphorical foot-washings.

For information on the history of Maundy Thursday traditions in the church, see

The name “Maundy Thursday" is derived from the Latin word mandatum meaning "commandment." The primary commandment of Jesus’ message is found in the story of the Last Supper when Jesus humbles himself to wash the feet of his apostles prior to the traditional Passover meal, or Seder. Jesus then commands them to "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34). In observance of this commandment, the act of feet-washing is often performed as part of Maundy Thursday church services.

Here’s a good slideshow of Lenten Meditations from the same webpage: