What does Holy Saturday – the day between Good Friday and Easter – look like for you?
For most of us, it’s a busy day of preparing for whatever Easter festivities in which we may participate: shopping, house cleaning, baking, and such. In short, largely a “normal” Saturday.
Yet, in God’s calendar, it’s hardly a “normal” Saturday at all.
For God, that first Holy Saturday was a day of unparalleled mourning and loss. His only Son lay in a stone-cold tomb, a lifeless body. Does that not deserve some sort of acknowledgement?
In some traditions of Christianity, Holy Saturday is a fast day…a day of mourning and grieving for a death died, a day of waiting and watching for a life to be renewed. A service of “Easter Vigil” is often celebrated on Holy Saturday evening, during which the congregation prepares and waits for the return of Christ, celebrates baptisms, welcomes new members, and invites the Lord’s presence with the church through the Lord’s Supper. It becomes, as the whole Season of Lent has been, a preparation for Jesus’ resurrection.
A death, to be observed well, needs to be mourned and grieved. This takes time, and must be an intentional choice on the part of the mourner. When we lose a loved one, we encourage this grief to take place.
In the cycle of the church’s life, we are invited to mourn a death each year, as we celebrate Good Friday with the church across the globe, marking Jesus’ death on the cross. Do we take time to grieve his death? By making Holy Saturday something that is not “normal”, we can celebrate a weekend that, while celebrated each year, is not “normal”. In this life, we do not see resurrections from the dead. It’s worth paying attention to.
How can your Holy Saturday be different this year? May it make your Easter an even greater celebration.
“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?” (Lamentations 1.12, NIV).