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Almighty God, who for our redemption gave your only- begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  

Look  at this image. What engages your attention at first?  Now look more closely.  What do the women appear to be doing?  In your mind’s eye, imagine what has happened in this holy place.  Where do you see yourself here?

Reflect.  The image is from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the so-called Anointing Stone.  This is where church tradition believes that Jesus was anointed for his burial, and is a sacred place to many who come for blessing. In the peculiar time between the Cross and burial and the discovery of the empty tomb, we take a moment to consider what is happening for ourselves. The Collect provides the reason for the death on the cross, stating that it is “for our redemption.”  Consider what being redeemed means for you. 

Act. You may find yourself, or someone else, in the midst of a sense of sadness, yet hopeful for an event of redemption or wholeness.  Today is a good day to be present to someone, or allow someone to be present to you, as you wait patiently for the Third Day to dawn.

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Anointing Stone” /Place: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem /Photographer: Jon Shematek