As we get used to the shape of this season, we wanted to highlight that we won’t be releasing a daily office over the weekend. Instead, we want to invite you into the intentional practice of Sabbath this Saturday or Sunday – a day for rest, worship and delight.

We have created a practice guide to help you and your family as you weave Sabbath into the rhythm of your week. You can find the practice guide and video here.

Isaiah 43: 1-21

Take a moment to be still and to pray ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ before reading the scriptures. If you are in the company of others, invite someone to read the text aloud.


If you are gathering with your family, invite someone to read this reflection aloud.

On the morning of Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus with her heart shattered. Peering in, seeing that there was no body to be found, Mary uttered through her tears that “they have taken my Lord away.” She turned and approached a gardener, only to hear Him say “Mary”. Recognising the Rabbi, she embraced Him, only to hear some surprising words: “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” (John 20: 17)

Why did Jesus say such a thing?

According to Ronald Rolheiser, if we had Mary’s account of the dawning of the new day, she may have said something like this:


“I never suspected 


to be so painful

to leave me weeping

With joy

to have met you, alive and smiling, outside an empty tomb

With regret

not because I’ve lost you

but because I’ve lost you in how I had you-

in understandable, touchable, kissable, clingable flesh

not as fully Lord, but as graspably human.

I want to cling, despite your protest

cling to your, and my, clingable humanity

cling to what we had, our past.

But I know that, if I cling

you cannot ascend and

I will be left clinging to your former self

unable to receive your present spirit.”


If you had asked Mary to express her wildest dream in the depths of her pain, she wouldn’t have mentioned resurrection but would have died for the resuscitation of Jesus to have taken place. A restoration of the way things were with the familiar good old days.

As we look back over the past twelve months, many of us know what Mary is talking about. We want to cling to the way things were, get back to the past, with all the ways we used to connect with Jesus, how He acted towards us and how we acted towards Him. We just want to recover the recognisable. 

Although after a cruciform year, a Good Friday kind of year, Jesus doesn’t want to resuscitate us. He wants us to live open to the present reality of resurrection.

Resurrection doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

Resurrection always follows a death.

The seedbed of resurrection is found in carrying our crosses, dying to self, seeing kernels falling to the ground, and allowing all the parts of our lives that run in the opposite direction of Christ’s new thing to be crucified. Recently, we’ve all had to die to self, often. Our sense of control, our preferences and plans, they’ve all been left shattered. It’s been a year of a thousand tiny deaths as we’ve faced the reality of life outside of the way we like it. 

Yet may you hear good news after a hard year.

Good Fridays always lead to Resurrection Sundays. 

As we loosen our grip of the former things, we invite the Gardener to tend to the shoots of new life growing in us now. We don’t have to be stuck in the past, clinging to the graspable and reducing faith to the application of self-help strategies to tweak the parts of our lives that we want to improve. No, we can live open to the Spirit’s utterly comprehensive work of transformation-by-resurrection in the givenness of the present moment.

Thanks to the resurrection, the new is available now.

New creation, what does it look like for you?


“Forget the former things; 

do not dwell on the past.

See I am doing a new thing! 

Now it springs up;

Do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

And streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43: 18-19


Stuart Bothwell


Depending on which time of day you are practicing this office, you can use the morning or evening prayer. All to pray the following words aloud.

Morning Prayer 

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.


Northumbria Community


Evening Prayer 

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake.


Compline Prayer – Common Book of Prayer



If you are gathering with your family, wait a moment and listen for the voice of God. Prayerfully share any words, pictures, encouragements or scriptures with each other by the laying on of hands.

Whether you are by yourself, or in the company of others, take time to pray for others that the Holy Spirit brings to mind, blessing them in His name.


Close your time by singing or saying aloud the Doxology.

“Fight back the dark with doxology. Doxology can detox the day.”

Ann Voskamp

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, you heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Amen and Amen.

The Way of St. Benedict by Rowan Williams
This Hallelujah Banquet byEugene Peterson