A Short Reflection for Holy Saturday
(Scroll down to next post for details of Easter Services)
Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. It is also known as the Vigil of Easter. The day is traditionally a time of reflection and waiting. The vigil stems back to when Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting after his crucifixion on Good Friday. It is also known as the day when Roman governor Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing the body to claim that he had risen from the dead.
Holy Saturday was also known as Great or Grand Saturday, as well as the Angelic Night. It was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted in the early days of the Christian church. This day was a major day for baptisms in the early church. Many churches still hold large services for baptisms on Holy Saturday.
Some people refer to Holy Saturday as Easter Saturday but this is a misnomer, as Holy Saturday is the last day of Lent and the eve of Easter. The Saturday after Easter Sunday is known as Easter Saturday, or Bright Saturday.
Holy Saturday is important as it gives us an opportunity to really contemplate the sacrifice of Christ before we celebrate on Easter Day, the Grace of Christ. It was a day of waiting for the disciples who must have been in fear for they didn’t know what was going to happen. They simply had to share in fellowship together and wait for whatever would happen next.
This seems to be an apt message for us today as we wait, with a sense of ‘not knowing what will happen next’.
All too often as humans we see a problem and want to do something. In some countries Holy Saturday is still a festival where people buy and burn effigies of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Rather than contemplate why Christ suffered there is a human tendency to pass blame and share with others that sense of ‘it was someone else’s fault’.
That again is not good thinking. I was once told that even if I was the only sinful person – He would still have died for me. Holy Saturday is a day for each of us to wait in thankfulness for Easter – but to do so reflecting that He did what He did for me.
God Be With You – Clive