Holy Saturday 2019

The Harrowing of Hell: Jesus tenderly leads by the hand those who are in Sheol
The Harrowing of Hell: Christ leads a soul from Sheol

Once again we have reached Holy Saturday, that day out of time, when in silence and stillness earth awaits the Resurrection. Our churches are empty of colur and warmth; no sacraments are celebrated; we know only the bleakness of the tomb and what it is to be without Christ. But God is working powerfully. The ancient tradition of the Harrowing of Hell, when Christ went down among the dead and preached to those who had had no opportunity of hearing the gospel while alive, reminds us that this is a day of mercy, a day when we do nothing because God does everything.

Monastic life is always lived in what I call ‘Holy Saturday mode’ — that is to say, by the mercy of God, suspended between heaven and hell, his grace leading us ever deeper into the Paschal Mystery. We do not see the way ahead clearly; we trust to his guidance. But we know that tonight, with the kindling of the new fire, his glory will blaze across heaven and earth; death will be destroyed for ever; and Christ will be revealed as our Saviour and Redeemer.


2 thoughts on “Holy Saturday 2019”

  1. My Favorite is; visiting Stella Maris Maroochydore, on Holiday; an adult got Baptized, Confirmed, & 1st Holy Communion, and Everyone sang “Let Us every Glory in the Cross Christ.” That’s why Easter vigil is soooo Special.

  2. Dear Sister Catherine
    Thank you for helping me to get through Holy week.
    Lived in ‘Holy Saturday mode’ , yes, you have explained it, however if at some point you feel up to expanding on it, that would be good, although you may had said all you have to say on that.

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