Saturday, March 30, 2024

Keeping vigil... in silence and in trust... (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

"Holy Saturday is the day of God’s silence. It must be a day of silence. We must do everything possible so that it is a day of silence, as that Day, which was the day of God’s silence.  Jesus placed in the sepulcher shares with the whole of humanity the tragedy of death as a silence that speaks and expresses love as solidarity with all those ever abandoned, which the Son of God reaches filling the emptiness that only the infinite mercy of God the Father can fill. God is silent, but out of love. In this day love, that silent love, becomes expectation of life in the resurrection. We think of Holy Saturday: it will do us good to think of the silence of Our Lady, “the Believer,” who in silence awaited the Resurrection. Our Lady must be the icon for us of that Holy Saturday. To think much of how Our Lady lived that Holy Saturday, in expectation. It is a love that does not doubt, but that hopes in the Lord’s word, and which becomes manifest and splendid on Easter day." 
 Pope Francis, Wednesday Audience, 03/23/16

"The last day of the 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

Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday - YouTube (7:47 mins)

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"... Holy Saturday...the more I reflect on it, the more 
this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life:  
we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing 
in the full light but walking toward it full of trust." 
- Pope Benedict XVI, Milestones: Memoirs, 1927-1977 

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