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Holy Saturday


By Elaine Bardwell - Posted on 07 April 2012

Although provision is made for the regular weekday services by the Church of England, today is best observed as a day of no worship. In our sequence of ceremonies spread over the 'Three Days' this period between Good Friday and the start of the Easter Vigil is a time for waiting and preparation. This is a good day for cleaning the church out thoroughly, getting rid of any clutter or rubbish and then decorating the building for the Easter festivities. 
 
At St Michael's we will set up an Easter garden as a focus for devotions for the next 50 days and rehearse for the Vigil and our 10 am All Age services.
 
But this is not just filling in time. We have reached a key point in our Holy Week observances. We can easily imagine that in the Gospel accounts all the 'action' takes place on Palm Sunday, in the upper room on Thursday, in the Garden and at Golgotha on Friday and then nothing until Sunday morning but by the time the women reach the tomb it is already empty - the resurrection has already taken place and the significance of what God was doing from the time of Jesus' burial to the discovery of an empty tomb has changed history for ever. According to early Chrisitian and current Orthodox thinking it was during this period that Jesus 'harrows hell' that is he overcomes Death, breaks open the doors of Hades and rescues the dead. There are some extremely fine icons depicting Jesus standing over the broken doors of Hell, lifting out Adam and Eve or Abraham and Sarah from the grave. This is Jesus' work on Holy Saturday - a Sabbath day - rescue of all faithful souls.
 
So it is today that we gather in our church to scrub, polish and clean with a sense of expectation as we look forward to celebrating anew our salvation and it will all begin with the Easter Vigil.
 
To see all the Holy Week entries click on the 'Vicar' beside 'Tags' which appears at the foot of each item and a full list will be displayed

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