Saturday, April 4, 2015

Keeping vigil... in the great silence (Holy Saturday)

Holy Saturday is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest;
it has been called the "Second Sabbath" after creation.
The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day
of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function
and is chiefly a day of solemn vigil for the Lord’s resurrection.

"The last day of Holy Week: a fruitful stillness before the breathtaking action of the night. Perhaps only the greatest Russian writers have succeeded in painting it as it is, a pause, a last moment of waiting, made holy by the Lord's rest in the tomb.
The Church is waiting at the tomb and weeps.  She sees where the Lord has been laid, where the woman had buried Adam, where man is buried where he had come to grief through her evil counsel. She sees it and weeps. She weeps at the Lord's tomb, as the Lord wept for Lazarus: for sin which killed the giver of all life. But her tears are soft, and she is at peace. . . .
The death of Adam has lost its terrors in the tomb of Christ. The death for obedience' sake has snuffed out sin. No longer does a massa damnata blunder on from sin to sin and death to death, but the body of the obedient Christ rests in hope. A foreboding of the happy chance of fault which merited such and so great a redeemer. It is a foreboding of the blessedness of suffering earning 'the name which is above all names', and the 'glory of God the Father', which makes the seers — men and the Church — at peace and full of hope."
~D. Aemiliana Löhr, The Great Week

“Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep.”  (From ancient homily, Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Saturday)

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