Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday

It’s quiet here. The monastic community has been in silence since Thursday evening. It feels right. Today, there will be tasks to do in preparation for the Vigil tonight. A few whispers here and there mean that we’re moving into liturgical “high gear.” Still I long to stay in this silent place of wonder and mystery.

Holy Saturday has always seemed a liminal place. Unlike Holy Thursday and Good Friday, it does not contain a unique liturgy. We gather for Morning Prayer, Midday and Evening Prayer near an empty tabernacle and contemplate Christ’s abiding presence even in absence. We are now without the Bridegroom. It is a good day, Abbot Patrick Regan, OSB, teaches, to fast. And yet, our Saturday experience differs dramatically from the first Holy Saturday. We wait for the Light that will shine in the darkness. We know that Easter fire will be kindled with care and the exsultet will be proclaimed by our finest voice. We know the rock will be rolled away.

I’ve come to love Holy Saturday. It seems to hallow all those moments in life when we are in between – after something precious has died but before new life can be perceived or articulated. Dan Schutte’s song, “Holy Darkness,” describes this particular moment brilliantly.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
We embrace your holy night.

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki