This guest post was written by Brody Stewart, Verbum Marketing and Promotions and Coordinator.
There’s nothing to do on Holy Saturday.
For most of the liturgical year, there’s always something to do at church. Whether it’s daily Mass, stations of the cross, praying the rosary, or some other popular devotion, there is no shortage of holy activities to occupy our time. The schedule is so predictable that most of us have developed routines. If you’re like me, you’re used to attending daily Mass every Saturday morning.
Except today, that is.
On Holy Saturday, things are different. Mass isn’t celebrated. The tabernacle is empty. The mood is somber, subdued, and sorrowful. Everything is as it should be. This sudden shock in our schedules connects us, in a small way, to Christ’s closest friends—the Apostles. Having spent three years living with Jesus, they would have grown accustomed to the rhythms of his life. Being devout Jews, they would have celebrated Jewish feasts and festivals with Jesus. They would travel with him, teach with him, and train others in his ways. They were there when he performed his first miracle. They were there when he wept at the death of Lazarus. They were there when he ate the Passover meal.
And then he was gone.
On the day of Christ’s crucifixion, the Apostles were stricken by terror and grief. Everything happened so quickly; their emotions were fresh. But the next morning, things were different. Jesus was no longer with them. Their teacher and friend was dead. On that first Holy Saturday, the Apostles sat in quiet, inconsolable mourning. Today, things are no different. Our day-to-day lives are put on pause to grieve for our crucified king. Though this day isn’t filled with church events, it should still be sacred. In our own small ways, we ought to reflect on the weight of Christ’s sacrifice and its significance in our lives. We ought to grieve for our sins. We ought to empathize with those who suffer and mourn.
In doing all this, Holy Saturday becomes more than just an empty day on our calendars. Instead, it frees us from the busyness of life and readies us for resurrection with Christ. It cultivates hope. We can’t let it pass unheeded.
So, what are you doing on Holy Saturday?