January 21, 2021

Holy Saturday 2017

Holy Saturday 2017

Candlelight Vigil 4. Photo by Ben Townsend

Something strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

• From an ancient homily, Roman rite

• • •

Photo by Ben Townsend at Flickr. Creative Commons License


  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    In depths of Hades
    ‘Thou wast present on this day’
    Tortured souls released

  2. senecagriggs says

    As the pastor noted last night at the Good Friday service. Why did the people call for Barrabas to be released when he was the nastiest piece of work in the jail in favor of Jesus of whom no fault could be found?


    [ It’s certainly been true in my life. ]

    • Jesus didn’t fulfill their expectations of a Messiah who would kick (Roman) ass and take (Gentile) names. Barabbas was the closest candidate at hand, and I’m sure Pilate was just as shocked as Barabbas that he got the pardon and Jesus got the gallows.

  3. a bird is singing
    right outside my dark window
    soon the sun will rise

  4. Death stands anxiously
    And he keeps telling himself,
    “His tomb is sealed.”

  5. As I await the consummation of resurrection/Parousia, I am trying to learn to practice resurrection. I’m a slow learner, and it’s a difficult practice, but to what better use could I put my time?

  6. Most of us are better versed in the narrative of Good Friday and Holy Saturday than we are in really understanding or experiencing the emotion of these days.

    • Agreed, Paul. If readers were to find a good Easter vigil service in their area, that might go a long way toward helping them enter into the feelings of the day.

      • the Easter vigil —
        death journeys into new life
        one step at a time

      • What should the feelings of Good Friday and Holy Saturday be? I’ve attended my share of Good Friday services and Easter Vigils, but I’m not aware that this has led me to feel anything in particular; it has differed from year to year, and from service to service. Liturgies enact narratives, and so tend to give common shape to the experience and interpretation of those who regularly participate in them, but they do not program or determine emotional response. If you go to an Easter Vigil seeking a certain emotional experience, you are as likely to be disappointed as not. Different people have different responses; sometimes the same person can have different responses at different times.

        • The Cross is not a nostalgia and Easter is not a day. Try taking you Bible and reading an half hour in front the Blessed Sacrament and have a two-way conversation with Jesus. May say the Sorrow Mysteries. Jesus is waiting for you.

          Praying for you clarity with the Lord
          Sister in Christ

          • Your reply doesn’t address my comment, but I pray clarity with the Lord Jesus, who is waiting for you as well, Sister Ida.

        • The feelings I speak of are those of taking part in the narrative – reliving the story of salvation, the movement from darkness to light, the return of the alleluia, the splashing of water in baptism, joyful fellowship at the champagne reception afterwards.

    • Paul, perhaps you will appreciate this response found on Patheos called For the People Who Cry During Holy Week:


  7. >> ‘Thou wast present on this day’

    A good start to a good day. Recognition that Jesus was not lying dead, alas, in a dank tomb, alas, but hard at work, perhaps with the so called repentant thief at his side helping free Adam and Eve and Noah and Moses and Abraham and you and me, a celebratory Parade to Paradise.

    Gold and Purple Finch
    in their Easter finery
    perched a foot apart

    • Susan Dumbrell says

      Jesus has broken the gates of hell and is Resurrected where I live.
      (A spectacular red sunrise was a ‘gasp’ of beauty. It was so much a He is Risen experience.
      Such joy shared with the so many gathered for the Easter Liturgy..
      I can only imagine our joy when are resurrected to be with Him in Paradise forever.

      I wish all a very Happy and Holy Easter.

  8. Jesus rests on this the Sabbath of Holy Week.
    Death defeated; defeated by Love, it
    is no longer an end, but his agent to draw us closer to his love.
    We wait now with urgent expectation.

  9. I would just like to say that on this Holy Saturday I am sitting with two things in a strange juxtaposition. The first is the possibility of what could happen on the Korean Peninsula. The second, for some reason, is the Walmart “Easter like you mean it” ad featuring the Blondie song. It really bothers me for some reason, perhaps in that the sentiments in the ad really have nothing to do with Easter… and yet no one appears to be bothered by that.

    I have no answers; just meditating on it all.

  10. Randy Thompson says

    The phrase Chaplain Mike quotes above are the opening lines of an ancient homily for Holy Saturday, and it is quite wonderful. I stumbled across it today for the first time and found it deeply moving. Here’s a link to it. (If not, cut and paste it and let Google do the rest.): http://www.vatican.va/spirit/documents/spirit_20010414_omelia-sabato-santo_en.html

  11. We are waiting for God’s Mercy one more time. Another Easter and another opportunity to try to get it right for the sanctification of our souls. Lent encouraged us to read the scriptures for at least 30 minutes a day, attend Mass, go to Confession, engage in the Stations of the Cross in your church, spend an hour a week in Eucharistic Adoration, pray to the Saints for guidance and to seek purification of our hearts. Now we celebrate Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday and we looked forward to more plenary blessings on Divine Mercy Sunday.

  12. Burro [Mule] says

    Beautiful Holy Saturday service at the Greek Archdiocese.
    Laurel leaves scattered all over the church in celebration of Christ’s victory in hades and the binding of satan.
    Leaving for Pascha Liturgy in 1/2 hour.

    Death is embittered.

  13. Believe it or not. It was not the people who showed us a great light. It was not the people who killed Jesus, nor was it anything on this Earth. It was an unapproachable light that Jesus showed us. We are in a way, like those who can’t hear. Because we have not ears to hear. We are still like those who have eyes, but cannot see. Only because, many can’t handle our Father’s will, like he did. His will be done, and it was so. It was Jesus’s cup that he took from his Father, and so too, in reality it was our cup that Jesus took away from us. Because it was the will of the Holy Trinity that we too are now partakers of the unapproachable light.

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