Saturday, April 04, 2015

Holy Saturday

His Cross stands empty in a world grown silent
Through hours of anguish and dread;
In stillness, earth awaits the Resurrection
While Christ goes down to wake the dead.
(Holy Saturday Divine Office Hymn)

Yesterday, as the evening of Sabbath grew near, our Lord was taken from the Cross and hastily placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.  It's Sabbath now, no one is permitted to do work until it ends, which is at sunset.  The women will wait until Sunday morning now to go back to finish preparing the body properly for burial.

Holy Saturday is time for us to meditate on what transpired the week before.  A week which began in joy and triumph is shattered by betrayal, torture and agonizing death.  It all happened so quickly!  How many of us, today, took time out to pray with our Lord on Holy Thursday?  Did we pause, even for a moment Friday morning as our Lord was being beaten, whipped and dehumanized?  In the hours between noon and 3pm, did we think about Jesus hanging on the Cross?  At 3pm, did we stop and remember the moment He died for our sins?  Were we too busy and distracted to do anything for Holy Week?

Today we sit in silence.  It is our time to reflect upon His Passion.  There has been no consecration of the Eucharist since Thursday.  Last night at a Mass of preconsecrated Host, we escorted any remaining Host out of the sanctuary and off to perhaps a side chapel which for this day, Holy Saturday, will represent His tomb.  Last night all the lights in the church were turned off.  Our churches sit in silent darkness awaiting the Lumen Christi from the "new fire" which is lit from flint at the start of the Easter Vigil - this begins traditionally at about 10:30pm.  Why so late?  Because at the stroke of midnight begins the First Mass of Easter!  All the statues and sacred images which were shrouded in purple on Passion Sunday (two weeks ago) are uncovered as the choir sings out the Alleluia!  Lent will have ended and the great Feast of Easter will have begun.

For now, however, we sit in silence and in prayerful meditation.  Meditating on the week which just passed, the week which literally rocked the whole world nearly 2000 years ago - and continues to rock it to this day.  We have an eager anticipation for Easter Sunday - while remaining mindful of what just happened in the last couple days.

A blessed Holy Saturday to you, and a great and Holy Easter tomorrow (or tonight!) to you as well.

Here we sit in silent mourning, 
Eagerly awaiting for the morning. 
The dawning of our victory,
The greatest Sonrise of history.
S. Windsor 2015

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