Arts & Faith: Easter Vigil—Holy Saturday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

Folio - "The Women at the Tomb; The Descent into Limbo"

As we move from Lent to Easter, we’ll provide Ignatian prayers for the Triduum, inspired by videos from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for Holy Saturday are based on Luke 24:1–12. The art is a 14th-century folio: The Women at the Tomb; The Descent into Limbo.


Prepare for a period of meditation by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply for a moment or two. Allow any present concerns to move across your mind and wait off to the side for now.


You are waiting through Holy Saturday, knowing that Jesus rests in the grave. However, while you sit alone in your home, you sense a presence with you, and you know it is Jesus. In some mysterious way, he has come to you during this endless, awful day.

Not knowing quite what to do, you decide to remain still and listen. After a few moments, you hear Jesus say to you:

“Soon, I will break free of death and the tomb. It is God’s will and my choice. I have the power, given by the Father, to be liberated from the grave.

“You are not in a grave, but neither are you liberated. I break the bonds of death so that you, also, can break your bonds.”

These words shock you. I am not liberated? But I’m not in the grave! Then you work up the courage to ask Jesus, “What bonds are you speaking of?”

“What bonds do you think?” Jesus’ presence is so clearly with you, even though you’re the only one in the room.

His question frustrates you. “I don’t know what you mean, Lord.”

“Where do you long for freedom?” Jesus asks.

Then you think, and you listen to your own heart and mind. In the silence and waiting, it becomes clear to you where, in your life, you need freedom—where you feel trapped, unable to change or move.

“You’re right,” you say to the Presence.

“It is God’s will that you be free,” Jesus says gently. “Is it your choice?”

Concluding Prayer

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video Arts & Faith: Holy Saturday.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 181 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

2 Comments on Arts & Faith: Easter Vigil—Holy Saturday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

  1. Thanks to Vinita Hampton Wright for writing an inspired word which will bring discernment in my life as the follower of Jesus Christ who will be liberated death on Easter Sunday.

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