Advertisements

Tag Archives: Holy Saturday

An Activity for Holy Saturday

I have long been frustrated in trying to find appropriate activities for Lent and Holy Week, because while it’s easy to find Easter activities  Lent-only activities are a bit tougher, and I refuse to rush into Easter before Easter. When I saw this Paschal Candle kit, I realized that it’s the perfect activity for Holy Saturday, as many churches dedicate their new Paschal Candles at the Great Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday night.

P1250138

The children had a lot of fun rolling the sheets of beeswax to make the candle, and then decorating it with the included gold cord, decals and gems. I think the detail on it is quite pretty:

P1250163

Ryan dedicated it in a way very similar to how is done at church:

Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever, the beginning and the ending, the Alpha and the Omega.
His are time and eternity, His are the glory and dominion, now and forever.
By His wounds we have healing both now and forever. Amen.

It was ready for us to light when we got home from church tonight, when Ryan finished the dedication:

May the light of Christ, who is risen in glory from the dead, scatter all the darkness of our hearts and mind.

P1250159

We’ll light it again tomorrow night at dinner, and probably also on Pentecost. I think after that, I’m going to save it, because I’m especially looking forward to using it as the centerpiece of our Advent wreath this fall. I’m pretty sure that this will become a new yearly tradition!

Advertisements

Quote of the Day–Holy Saturday

This is the fifth year I’ve shared this on Holy Saturday, and it is still one of my favorite quotes of all time!

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son. The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: “My Lord be with you all.” And Christ in reply says to Adam: “And with your spirit.” And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” “I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.” “I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.” (quoted in For All the Saints, vol. III, p. 1037)

Fog on Holy Saturday

I find that fog is a very fitting complement to Holy Saturday. Things are quieter outside, dampened, and you can’t quite see clearly. It feels as though nature is holding her breath, waiting for the veil to lift.

P1250117

This is how the Church feels today. We know the joy that will come on Easter, but we have to wait a little longer. We can’t hear the joyous strains quite yet, can’t see clearly the celebration that is to come. But tomorrow, joy will break forth!

Holy Saturday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The commemoration of Holy Saturday encompasses our Lord’s rest in the tomb and His descent into hell. The descent into hell is not, however, the depth of Christ’s humiliation but rather the demonstration of His complete victory over death. This day takes us out of the depths of most painful sorrow and out of the solitude of holy meditation upon Christ’s Passion to the celebration of victory as we anticipate the Lord’s resurrection breaking forth in all its glory on Easter.

The Jesus Tree–Day Forty-Six

Today’s readings focused on the accounts of the burial of Jesus, found in all four Gospels: Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 23:50-56; Luke 23:50-56; and John 19:38-42. I also added Matthew 27:62-66, which details how the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate to ask for a guard to be placed at the tomb. This is the only passage in Scripture that occurs on Holy Saturday, and even though it’s not directly part of the burial story, I felt that it was important to include it since today is Holy Saturday.

Holy Saturday

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son. The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: “My Lord be with you all.” And Christ in reply says to Adam: “And with your spirit.” And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” “I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.” “I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.” (quoted in For All the Saints, vol. III, p. 1037)

The Great Vigil of Easter

Not only are we blessed with a wonderful congregation which we call home, we are also blessed to have a local sister congregation with whom we occasionally celebrate special services, including Epiphany, Ascension, and my favorite service of the year, the Great Vigil of Easter. I love the transition from darkness to light that this service brings, the symbolism and remembrances. It feels like an extended time of the Sacrament, when Heaven and Earth intersect.

The bulletin from the Vigil had a great explanation of the parts of which the service is made up, and I thought I’d share that here:

“The Vigil has four parts. (1) It begins with the Service of Light. The Paschal (Passover) candle is lighted from new fire. Then we light our candles from the Paschal Candle. Following a procession, the Exsultet (Proclamation) joyously sounds the theme for the evening. (2) During the second part of the Vigil, a series of Readings from the Old Testament recalls God’s saving acts for his people throughout history. These readings and the accompanying prayers, psalms, and canticles, are the “vigil” portion of the service. Vigil means patiently but expectantly waiting for a celebration. During this service we ignore time. The Vigil has no set length, it lasts as long as it lasts. (3) The third part of the Service focuses on Baptismal Remembrance. We rejoice again in the blessings God gave to us in Baptism. We confess again the faith that the Holy Spirit gave to us in Baptism. And we promise again to live faithfully as God’s baptized people. Often we have the privilege of witnessing Baptisms or Confirmations. (4) The Vigil comes to a joyous conclusion in the Service of the Lord’s Supper, which begins tonight and is completed at the Festival Divine Service on Easter morning.”

It is a great blessing to go to this service and have the chance to “peak in the tomb” before Easter Sunday’s services, and hear the Word proclaimed so completely.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Quote of the Day

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son. The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. ‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.’ ‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.’” (quoted in For All the Saints, vol. III, p. 1037)

The Triduum

Once referred to as the “still days,” the Triduum marks the three-day period from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday. The services of those three days are actually three parts of one long service, culminating in the Great Vigil of Easter.

On Thursday, we are blessed with the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament one last time before the altar is stripped in preparation of the solemn services of Good Friday.

On Friday, we enter the now-bare sanctuary, to hear the words of our Lord’s suffering and death, and hear the Bible slammed shut as we ponder Him giving up His Spirit for us.

On Saturday, is the agonizing wait, as we hold our breaths throughout Jesus’s rest in the tomb. And then the Great Vigil, in which the Light is brought back, and the first glimpse of the opening tomb is observed.

The Paschal Triduum marks the highest and holiest point of the church year. From Thursday through Saturday, we walk with Jesus from the Upper Room to Gethsemane to the trial, and finally to Golgotha. We watch as His body is placed in the tomb, and we weep with his mother and disciples. But we know the Story doesn’t end there, and we wait, with all the company of heaven, holding our breath, and waiting for that glorious festival on Easter Sunday…

The Great Vigil of Easter

I don’t think I could ever find words to describe how much I love this service. The return of the Light, the readings from Holy Scripture, the remembrance of Baptism, the return of the Alleluias, the Lord’s Supper–I love it all.

I still remember the first time I attended the Easter Vigil–it was when I was in college, and it was something my church was doing either for the first time, or one of the first times…we certainly didn’t do it when I was growing up there. I remember sitting in the pew, in the darkness (that service started at 11:00 p.m., so it was really dark!), and thinking that I wished it would never end.

I still feel that way. If it weren’t for worrying about how loud my children are being, or how much longer they can make it through the service, I could stay forever. There is something so ancient and beautiful about the way the service is arranged, and the readings that are chosen–it is the perfect transition from darkness into Light, from Lent to Easter–and also provides so much in the way of Word and Sacrament.

Surely it is the Church on Earth at Her best!

%d bloggers like this: