ONE CHURCH TRADITION celebrates Holy Saturday, Jesus’ day in the tomb, as the day Jesus rescues all the dead from the time of Adam and Eve onward. A text from the ancient church describes the event in this way: Jesus leaps from the cross into that place of death, takes hold of the hands of Eve and Adam who hold hands with the other dead around them, and grasping them all firmly and securely, leaps out again. It is fanciful, I know.
But at my father’s funeral on that Saturday so many centuries later, it meant everything to me. It began with the priest addressing my father in his casket reminding him how, when he had been baptized, he had been baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ. Now what had once taken place in symbol was happening in reality in the waters of his physical death.
The priest’s words came as gift. At the very moment I heard them, I was filled with certainty that my father on that Holy Saturday had been met in death by Jesus Christ, God’s own self. He was not alone but safe in God. It was then that I stopped crying. The whole of Easter, the whole three days of it, right through to the Resurrection, had become more real than anything else on earth.
– Roberta C. Bondi
From pages 38-39 of Wild Things: Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude by Roberta C. Bondi. Copyright © 2014 by Roberta Bondi. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Ponder both the meaning of Good Friday and of Easter on this Holy Saturday. Share your thoughts.
And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
John 19:42, NRSV
This Week: pray for people observing Holy Week and celebrating Easter around the world. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Clara Barton (April 12).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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