Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday. . . a waiting day

On Holy Saturday Jesus' disciples mourned his death and, because it was a sabbath day, they rested. Luke notes that the women returned home "and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). At the tomb, the guards that had been stationed there kept watch over the place to make sure that the disciples did not steal Jesus' body.

He descended into Hell (Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek) whose inhabitants lived in everlasting death deprived of the vision of God. Jesus descended not to redeem the damned nor to destroy hell but to proclaim His victory.

On this day the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist are not celebrated, marriages are not solemnized, and the faithful may choose to fast as they wait in prayer for the unfolding of the promise of Christ in the resurrection.

The most distinctive liturgical service is the Vigil, on the evening preceding the Paschal feast. Vigil comes from the Latin vigilia, meaning "watchfulness," and describes the tradition of waiting in prayer for the Paschal or Easter Feast which we know is coming with the dawn.

The resurrection of Christ vindicates His claims and promises. It is the foundation of our faith and hope and without it there is no gospel and we are still in our sins, the most of all to be pitied because we trusted in a lie. Through Baptism we are inserted into the Paschal Mystery of Christ, dying, buried, and raised with Him that we should also reign with Him.

Easter Vigil Candlelight Procession and Exultet from Cheryl on Vimeo.

No comments: