Saturday, 7 April 2012

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday.   The day of waiting and keeping watch. 

Prayer:  We come into Your presence this day O Lord,  knowing that our Redeemer was buried and rose again from the dead.  O Christ we adore You.   O Saviour Christ,  enable us to share in Your Passion at our times of testing.  O Christ, we adore You.  O Lord of Life,  like the seed of wheat fallen into the ground, You have borne the fruit of the life of God.  May we die to sin and live for God.  O Christ, we adore You.  O Christ,  the new Adam,  You descended into the kingdom of the dead to set the good free from captivity.  May Your voice be heard by all who have died in sin, that they may life.  O Christ, we adore You.  O Christ,  Son of the Living God, through  baptism we have been buried with You in death; make us partners in Your resurrection,  that we may walk in newness of life this every day. O Christ,  we adore You.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.   (Taize,  “Praise in all our Days”)

Read:  St. Matthew 27: 61 - 66

A time of waiting.   Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.  Waiting.  And watching.  And weeping.   It was customary to watch over the tomb of a loved one.   Meanwhile,  the Chief Priests and Pharisees go to Pilate and ask that a guard be put at the tomb of Jesus as they remember Jesus saying that after three days he would rise again.   Pilate gives the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day.

So,  what happened to Jesus during Friday’s  Crucifixion and Easter Sunday Morning?  The Apostles’ Creed tells us that Jesus descended into the dead and rose again on Sunday Morning.   The Eastern Orthodox Church has an Icon of this time called the “Harrowing of Hell”.   The Icon pictures Christ dressed in Red (so you know he is Holy), standing on the opened tombs of Adam and Eve.  Adam and Eve are coming up out of their tomb to eternal life.  Surrounding everyone in this Icon are Kings and Prophets of the Old Testament.

And we too wait through this Saturday to the glorious Resurrection of Sunday.  

Prayer:  Holy God,  it is Your will that we should be baptized into the death of Your Son our Saviour.  Give us true repentance that we may pass with Him through the grave and gate of death, and be reborn to new life in joy,  through Him who died,  was buried, and who rose for us,  Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen  (Taize,  “Praise in all our Days”) 

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