Holy Saturday

I love the silence of Holy Saturday. Only two more hours and it will slip in unnoticed by most.

It is especially silent since this year we are not having a vigil, and I have a head cold and feel too lousy to drive an hour to be with my brother’s congregation tomorrow night.  I’ll do well tomorrow to get a sermon done for Sunday’s celebration; I suppose crafting words is not a very silent thing to do.  I need to visit someone who is dying; she is deaf and blind so perhaps I can  silently hold her hand.

Still, I relish Holy Saturday’s silence—what little of it I will be able to seek out.  After the intensity, the intimacy of Maundy Thursday, after the thunderous darkness of the Friday Tenebrae, the stillness of an exhausted holy Saturday beckons some kind of walk, some search for life, some assurance that all will be well if I can just listen for whatever life noise the breeze stirs.  I confess I have nothing left to offer this Saturday’s space except to be a sponge of whatever stillness creation can spare me.

The silence I am seeking from Holy Saturday precedes a daunting  celebration—a fanfare of surprise even after years of repetition.  I am not ready for that Sunday noise yet. My heart is wrung out and needs space to expand and stretch first.  Is it possible, in between death and resurrection, for me to simply pause and love the world? If so, then I think I’ll be ready for the next thing when that culminating morning dawns.

MESSENGER by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.



  1. Chuck Miller says:

    Exactly. For me, for many years Holy Saturday was simply the day before. Nothing more. But after assisting the pastors to strip the altar in Thursday’s service (what an impact that is!), and the bass drum rhythm of scripture – silence – scripture – silence – prayer – silence of Friday’s service, I seem to want the silence and solitude of today. I need it. Yet I can’t wait for the trumpet!

  2. Sue smith says:

    I hope you can find that stillness you’re seeking somewhere today. The sky is not encouraging our busy activity, with this morning’s clouds and dove-grey light. Your blog reminds me to wait and listen today!