Easter Sunday: A Blessing for the Rising

RisenImage: Risen © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Easter Sunday:
John 20.1-18 or Luke 24.1-12

Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.

—Luke 24.5

For Easter Day

If you are looking
for a blessing,
do not linger

is only
a hollow,
a husk
where a blessing
used to be.

This blessing
was not content
in its confinement.

It could not abide
its isolation,
the unrelenting silence,
the pressing stench
of death.

So if it is
a blessing
you seek,
open your own

Fill your lungs
with the air
this new
morning brings

and then
release it
with a cry.

Hear how the blessing
breaks forth
in your own voice,

how your own lips
form every word
you never dreamed
to say.

See how the blessing
circles back again,
wanting you to
repeat it,
but louder,

how it draws you,
pulls you,
sends you
to proclaim
its only word:


—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

Using Jan’s artwork…

To use the image “Risen,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible.

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

8 Responses to “Easter Sunday: A Blessing for the Rising”

  1. Catherine MacDonald Says:

    Oh Jan, both the words and the image are so beautiful.
    Blessings on your ministry to us!

  2. Martha Jane Petersen Says:

    Thank you, thank you, Jan. Your words and images have fed my soul this week. Abundant blessings be yours as we celebrate the Easter season!

  3. Sue Mannshardt Says:

    Jan, I loved this blessing when you first shared it with us in a former reflection, and I loved it reading it again in Circle, and I love it still…It says so much about not not lingering or wallowing in the shadows and the darkness…”Come out, come out!” he cried, “you are my beloved and precious to me!”
    Blessings on this Easter morning!

  4. Cathryn McCormick Says:

    Jan. This was beautiful the painting and the words. Just what I needed this Easter evening.

  5. Linda Goddard Says:

    So lovely a blessing, Jan. I am opening wide my mouth, breathing deeply . . .

  6. Linda Goddard Says:

    And your “Risen” is stunning! Poignant!

  7. Joy Marchesani Says:

    Your words, Jan, touches that God spot within.
    I ask Our Lord to return the blessing back to you a hundredfold.

  8. Kyra Kerr-Fitzgerald Says:

    Dear beautiful Jan,
    I am your friend from the women’s prison in NM. You so graciously visited our Sacred Journeys gathering years ago.
    Six years ago at age 70, I married and moved to Austin where I serve as Deacon at the historic episcopal Church of St. James. Historic because it was founded by African-Americans who had been rejected by 2 existing Episcopal churches and it remains devoted to its mission of diversity & radical welcome.
    Our priest’s invitation to communion flies in the face of canon & practice & is:
    “wherever you are on your journey of faith…”
    And the congregation replies enthusiastically: “You are welcome at this table!”
    And we mean it. That is apparent in the wild & wonderful diversity of our congregation. All colors & kinds you can imagine, and then some.
    We would be honored & blessed if you would worship with us should you visit Austin .
    I am proposing another year with your Sacred Journeys book, beginning this Advent, of course. The book is still out of print and good copies can be very expensive so I ask permission to make copies of the Advent section to begin with and then those who wish to make the year-long commitment could search for their own copies. I’ve ordered 6 copies.2 for my twin nieces who are graduating from high school and the rest for scholarship copies for the fall.
    With gratitude, blessings and love,

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