Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love. – Ps 31:16

Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 • Matthew 27:57-66 • 1 Peter 4:1-8 Removal from the Cross

This is a solemn day. The Eucharist, which is ordinarily available every other day of the year for Roman Catholics, is typically withheld. This is often the case for other denominations as well. This withholding is a reminder of just how terrible this day is. This is the day that Christ was in the grave.

The Apostles Creed and 1st Peter speak of him “descending to the dead” or to “Hades”. The Orthodox make the point that at this point Christ is “harrowing Hades”, that is, he is overcoming death with life. But, his followers did not know this on Holy Saturday. This was the most horrible of days. Perhaps, even worse than the day he was crucified. This is the day where the reality of what happened sinks in. The Lord is gone. They are alone.

For a small amount of time it is good for us to feel the same weight that the Lord’s early followers felt. Of course, we cannot, really, feel the weight in the way that they did. We have knowledge that they did not. Christ is risen! But, not yet. For a few moments today, allow yourself to feel the weight. Stay in the pain of not knowing, and learn to hope.

The Collect for Holy Saturday 

O God, Creator of heaven and earth:  Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the  coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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