And now Holy Saturday – the day ‘inbetween’ – the day of waiting.
We attach Evening Prayer & also an extract from our zoom reflection. This is at 11am today. Link is below. For your personal reflection we have also included a second piece of writing on Holy Saturday – it is so often a ‘lost’ day but shouldn’t be. There is so much meaning in it for us. There is a hymn too – ‘Holy Darkness’.
Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, there will be an Evening Prayer, but also at 12 noon we are meeting on zoom to give each other Easter Greetings at the end of travelling together through Lent & the Triduum – we could raise a glass together! We will send that link tomorrow.
With our love & prayer for you all,
Moira & Margaret
HOLY SATURDAY: 11am
Time: Apr 3, 2021 11:00 AM London
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Meeting ID: 897 2899 7534
Click on the link below for
We tend to think of Holy Saturday as a day ‘in between’ Good Friday and Easter Sunday, without any particular significance of its own. But this could not be further from the truth. It is a day that resists all of our attempts to understand it, but nonetheless we must ‘live in the realities of Holy Saturday’.
It is only human to want to avoid the vast silence of this day, its stillness which stretches out without any promise of relief. It is only human to want to shake off the finality, the shock and numbness of death, to release ourselves from the lingering memory of what we have witnessed.
It is only human to want to flee from its emptiness, the stark, hard, unyielding bareness of absence.
If we enter into the silence of Holy Saturday, its bareness gives us no distractions. There is nowhere to go but inwards; into the very empty places of our own soul and imagination. Holy Saturday takes us beyond grief and mourning into the deepest purification of our faith.
Like the bare altar and the empty tabernacle, this Saturday strips us of all comfort. It even strips away faith itself, leaving us so utterly naked and impotent that we can only wait.
This is where we live, this human space, waiting before the cave in the tarnished garden where it all began and ended; to begin anew, we hope, for ever.
Reading: Holy Saturday by Michael K. Marsh.
This will be followed by a pause for personal reflection.
Most people will ignore and skip the Church’s remembrance of Holy Saturday. No one, however, gets to ignore and skip the reality of Holy Saturday in life. Holy Saturday is the in between time. The tragedy of the crucifixion is past but the glories of the resurrection are not yet here. We are neither here nor there. We are stuck in the middle. What was is no more and what will be is not yet clear or known. It feels as if there is nowhere to go and nothing to do.
Holy Saturday comes to us in many ways but it always seems to involve death; the death of Jesus, the death of a loved one, the death of a relationship, the death of hopes and dreams. In the church calendar Holy Saturday is one day once per year. Not so in life. Those of you who have suffered the death of a loved one know that you do not move from Good Friday to Easter Sunday in just one day. Holy Saturday can last months, years, even a lifetime. Holy Saturday calls us to the tomb. Where else is there to go?
That’s where Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are today. Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, laid it in the tomb, rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and went away. He left. Some will do that in the Holy Saturday of life. They will close up the tomb and walk away as if there is nothing there, no possibilities for anything new. The two women, however, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, are sitting opposite the tomb. They are silent. There is not much to say on Holy Saturday. What can be said? There are no easy or satisfactory answers.
Holy Saturday is a day of silence and stillness, waiting and wondering, remembering and hoping. Perhaps that is what faithfulness looks like on Holy Saturday. There is not much to do except be present to the reality of what is, to sit opposite the tomb.
Where is Christ on Holy Saturday? Reread the Apostles’ Creed. Remind yourself that on this day “He descended to the dead” or as another translation says, “He descended into hell.” Holy Saturday is when Christ descends into the hell of your life, breaking the bonds of death, and setting the captives free.
Holy Saturday is a difficult day. We so much want joy to replace sorrow. That’s not what Jesus does. Instead, sorrow is transformed into joy, the tomb becomes a womb, and death gives birth to new life. Christ’s triumph is not apart from death but within death. Christ is trampling down death by death and giving life to those in the tombs.
The two women of Holy Saturday will become the first people Jesus greets on Easter Sunday. So trust the silence and the waiting. Be still. Remember, wonder, hope. Pray. It is Holy Saturday and your Lord who loves you is at work.