In sadness or celebration — know and believe that you are loved by God.

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After this Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take away the body of Jesus. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one because he feared the Jewish authorities. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took the body away. Nicodemus, the one who at first had come to Jesus at night, was there too. He brought a mixture of myrrh and aloe, nearly seventy-five pounds in all. Following Jewish burial customs, they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the spices, in linen cloths. There was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish Preparation Day and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus in it.

John 19:38-42

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In times of crisis — especially when we encounter death — healing rituals can calm our souls.

I know that whenever there is a death in my family, there are rituals: religious, social, and cultural practices that allow me to get through the immediacy of the day and ground me for the journey of grief that lies ahead. These rituals not only remind me of my community but also heal my soul.

I think of food, prepared and shared. Disputes put on hold. Memories recounted. Laughter, weeping, presence.

During these times, grace can be extended and received through rituals known and unknown. On this Holy Saturday, look for the grounding rituals in your own life, take a moment to hold them with the tenderness with which they have been offered.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

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God, for the healing rituals in my life, I give you thanks. Give me the clarity to see, the humility to receive and courage to extend the grace, healing, and love embodied by the rituals of my life. Amen.

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Go forth into the world with justice and compassion in your heart.

Give voice to the silent.
Give strength to the weak.
Hear one another.
See one another.
Care for one another.
And love one another.

It’s all that easy.
And it’s all that hard.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Bruce Reyes-Chow is one of the pastors at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto (CA), a Senior Coach with The Center for Progressive Renewal, father to three children, cuddler with three dogs, and sideline cheerer for youth soccer.

Let It Go

Mark Hayes

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