Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday of Holy Week. On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. The altar is left bare, the church is stripped of its decorations. All lies in wait. It is a time of silence. Silence as it was that Saturday so long ago. It has been called the "Second Sabbath" after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year. Christ lies in the grave. After the great battle He is resting in peace, but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering...The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible....Jesus' enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander. Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, as are we.
Today we remember Christ in the tomb. This day is also called "Black Sabbath". On this day, as in no other, we are invited into the most profound silence of the life of God, whose Son, "of one being with the Father," lay buried in a tomb.

Matthew 27:57As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Apostles’ Creed proclaims that Christ was not only “crucified,dead, and buried,” but also that he “descended into hell.”

Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

I Peter 3:18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:19By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:and I Peter 4:6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Icon of the Epitaphios Thrinos

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