Saturday, March 26, 2005

WHAT TO DO WITH HOLY SATURDAY? It seems to me that earnest Christians are not sure what to do with Holy Saturday. There are clear Scriptural precedents for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. We take the Biblical cues and early church practices and find ways to rehearse the story of Jesus' Passion and Resurrection dramatically. But when it comes to Holy Saturday, we're at a loss.

ULTIMATE IN-BETWEEN TIME. Holy Saturday is the ultimate in-between time, the most barren of all days and times. It is between "It is finished" and "He is risen!" What does one do when Jesus lies lifeless in a sealed sepulcher? It seems to me that if we are to be faithful to a "rehearsal" tradition, that is, trying to re-enter, re-live, re-trace, re-member the original story with some semblance of intentionality (so as, somehow, to re-connect with its meaning and experience it afresh), then we ask what the disciples and followers of Jesus might have been doing or feeling or experiencing on this day?

HOLDING VIGIL. For starters, they must been: Scattered. Shattered. Forlorn. Dazed and confused. Guilty. Grieving. Not the context appropriate for Easter Egg hunts, which many congregations naively engage in on this dark day. It seems most appropriate for believers to hold vigil, if anything. Or prepare solemnly for tomorrow (though we are at a disadvantage: we know and anticipate the Resurrection; the first disciples were clueless, thinking the end of Jesus-- and his promise of a new kingdom--had come). Perhaps the point is that there is nothing one can or should DO on this day. Nothing, but hold vigil in one's heart for the crucified Jesus.

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