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Holy Saturday

2009 April 11
by Gordon Reid

05_atthenewfire Today, all is silence, all is waiting. God himself is among the dead working his great work of salvation in the silence of the grave.

In “Meditations of a Believer”, Marcel Legaut has this on the silences of the Christ:

“Sacred silence in which the world was created,

Sacred silence of the tabernacle that holds the Host,

Sacred silence of the soul before its God,

Under thy veil is prepared in secret the convincing word;

In thy immobility is born the zeal of the apostles;

From thy power the remaining hours of the day receive their divine substance;

And the little Host is the leaven that one day will make of the world the great Host.

Lord, teach us the silence of Your nights of prayer”

And in today’s Office of Readings, we have these powerful words from one of the Early Church Fathers:

“Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

“Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God and Adam’s son.

“The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross …. grasping (Adam’s) hand he raises him up, saying “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light”.

Tonight in the Vigil ceremonies, we shall light the New Fire and sing the Paschal Praise to the great Candle which symbolizes Christ, the Light of the World; we shall sing the twelve lessons of prophecy which point forward to God’s mighty work of salvation; we shall bless the life-giving waters of the font and sprinkle the faithful; and we shall burst forth with praise in the First Mass of Easter.

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