Living Holy Saturday 1

Last week, in a Skyped spiritual direction session, my director asked me how I was feeling.

“Waiting,” I replied.

She then asked me if it was like the waiting of Advent or another type: “Are you in the womb or the tomb?”

“In the tomb,” I answered.

In one way I feel like Lazarus in the tomb waiting to be revived by the Lord. But I think it’s more of being with Jesus in the tomb – between His death and resurrection.

Maybe that’s the best way for me to live Holy Week this year.

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I’ll try to reflect on this throughout Holy Week.

We have an almost complete curfew here in Honduras. One person can go out in the morning to a neighborhood store and there is the possibility of travelling outside once a week. But one must stay at home – waiting.

Some places have sealed off the entrances to the cities, permitting only medical or other emergency traffic. That’s been the case for nearby San Agustín for a few days and now they are sealing off the city of Santa Rosa de Copán.

I am fine, with basic food stuffs and an extra canister of gas for cooking (that the pastor lent me yesterday). I have electricity, water, internet. I also have some great tomatoes that are grown here in Plan Grande.

But it’s a time of waiting – with not much to do.

Thinking about Jesus in the tomb, I picked up a small booklet I got years ago from Mount Saviour Monastery – The Great Sabbath Rest by Fr. Damasus Winzen, OSB, the founder of their monastery. The essay was written in 1957, but the first paragraph hit me.

Among the many blessings offered through the restoration of Holy Week is the pause of Holy Saturday. Since the Paschal Vigil has been moved back to its original place in the Easter night, Holy Saturday has become for the great majority a day without any liturgy. To people of the western hemisphere [rather, the northern hemisphere], always active and wanting to be kept busy, a day without nothing is a frightening prospect. Many may be inclined to consider a day without Mass and without communion a loss to their spiritual life.… It is good therefore to explain the nature of Holy Saturday and the role it plays in the context of Holy Week, and to indicate some ways to make this day a source of spiritual blessings for the individual and for the family.

As people lament the lack of Mass and communion, maybe we need to look at what Holy Saturday is and how we can make this a “Great Sabbath Rest.”

I hope to consider this more deeply throughout the week.

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