Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Proper of the Day: Holy Saturday

On this day the Church waits. I've always thought that Holy Saturday is under-appreciated. There is a Proper Liturgy for this day, but I don't think very many churches observe it, including my own. (Maybe next year). The tone of the Scriptures seems funereal to some degree, and at the Prayers of the People we recite "In the Midst of Life" instead. For myself, I find that verse five of Psalm 130, appointed for today, is most apt:

My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning *
more than watchmen for the morning.

As we wait for the third day, it's good to be reminded that Saturday has traditionally been a day for rest and relaxation, at least here in the US. Somehow, as all Sundays take their sense from the Great Sunday, the Day of Resurrection and its Vigil, I can see there's a way that all Saturdays can take their sense from Holy Saturday. Not as a day of mourning, because that really isn't the feel. Rather, it's a day of rest - a rest for the body of Jesus, and perhaps a rest for our own bodies as well.

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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