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Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday

he suffered death and was buried

was crucified, died, and was buried

There is this strange day in the church year: Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday, when Jesus dies, and Easter Day when he rises from the dead. Some call it Easter Saturday – that’s absolutely incorrect – Easter Saturday is a week later.

One of the things about the story of Christ’s life is that we can all find ourselves in there somewhere. And we are all called to live out one or more dimensions of that story.

Holy Saturday, what seems like that strange nothingy day between being redeemed and seeing the results of that redemption, what seems like that strange nothingy day between everything being destroyed and everything being made even better than before, Holy Saturday is a day, an idea, a model, that we do not think enough about. Holy Saturday is the day of waiting, of hoping – for a better future.

We in Christchurch are living Holy Saturday, that strange time between things being destroyed and things being, we hope, even better than before. In some ways the planet, even possibly the universe, lives in Holy Saturday – hoping for a better tomorrow.

Some of you might be in a Holy Saturday time of your own life now – when things look pretty bleak. Others of you when, in the future, you hit a Holy Saturday time, when things look hopeless, may you think back to the Christ story, the realisation of the countless others who have been in a similar situation before you – and may you hold onto the promise of hope that the Christ story gives for a better future.

Other reflections on Holy Saturday

This is the fifteenth post in a series on the Creed.

The first is Apostles’ Creed.
The second is I believe in God.
The third is a source of the Apostles’ Creed.
The fourth is I believe in the Father.
The fifth is Handing over the Creed.
The sixth is I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son
The seventh is Don’t use the creed in worship
They eighth is Truly God truly human
The ninth is Conceived by the Holy Spirit
The tenth is Don’t use the creed in worship (part 2)
The eleventh is Born of the Virgin Mary
The twelfth is Don’t use the creed in worship (part 3)
The thirteenth is Crucified under Pontius Pilate
The fourteenth is crucified

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10 Responses to Holy Saturday

  1. Have you read Alan Lewis’ Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday ? It’s the fines book I’ve read on the theme and one of the finest theological tomes I read, full stop.

  2. When I was in my early teens holy Saturday was for me the longest day. This feeling, even with the many doubts, questions I have today, remains with me..
    Then a few years ago I was reading George Steiner’s “Real Presences” and, in the second last paragraph of the book, one reads”There is one particular day in Western history about which neithe rhistorical record nor myth nor Scripture makes report. It is a Saturday. ” And it has become the longest of days. He writs of how the non- Christian as well as the Christian in our society knows of the Friday and the Sunday no matter what they make of them. But hte Saturday? He is no more conventionally Christian than I am now, perhaps less so. But in the last paragrph he writes how things are born between the suffering and love of the Friday and the”Utopia of the Sunday” that so much has grown. “They have arisen out of an immensity of waiting which is that of man.”
    When the creed states that he descended into sheol, into the mass of the waiting from Adam as a symbol of our beginning onward. It is worth considering von Balthasar’s “Mysterium Paschale”. about descending into hell. But even more so that great Middle English poem of Piers Plowman and his account of the harrowing of hell, the great trumpet blast as a symbol that human kind lives in possibility and hope.

  3. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does. (I Peter 4.5)

  4. 19 After being made alive,[a] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. (I Peter 3.19-20)

  5. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12.40)

  6. 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) (Ephesians 4.9-10)

  7. just the usual scripture texts referred to when talking about “He descended into hell” or the time between Friday and Sunday. THX for posting. These blog posts are quite interesting and I enjoy following. All just peace, G Lake Dylan

  8. The important word for me here is that Jesus actually died. He didn’t fall into a feint on the cross. He didn’t move spiritually from this world to the next and back. He didn’t cheat death or fool anybody. He was dead. No questions about it. Dead.
    Only when we come to this realisation can we develop any understanding of what the resurrection might have been and any narrative around the meaning of all of this. Anything short of death is a theological cheat.
    So thinking about that Holy Saturday is a really important day, because it gives us a day to truly contemplate death.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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