As I write this Saturday afternoon we are in that strange time in between the crucifixion and resurrection. I’d like to share a poem/prayer about Holy Saturday 2020, written by Cameron Wiggins Bellm.
Holy Saturday. The world is, as we say, silent as a tomb. Jesus rests today inside the mouth of a cool cave, as refrigerated trucks serve as morgues in New York City. He is there, too, in those tombs on wheels. This Holy Saturday there will be no procession, but the whole world is the hushed dark of the Church, waiting for the light of the Paschal Candle to be passed person to person, soul to soul. This Holy Saturday no catechumens will pass through the waters of baptism, no drops of holy water will splash our faces This year our tears of joy and sorrow will be our font. At the Easter Vigil Jesus rises from the tomb out of love for us. This year we stay home out of love for each other. We can't smell the incense, we can't gather around the Easter fire, but the holy flame still burns in us. Amen.
The Easter Vigil is the Church’s oldest liturgy, and one of my favorites of the year. We will not be able to do some of our beloved traditions — lighting the new fire at the foot of the cross in the Memorial Garden, processing by candlelight into the darkened church, proclaiming that Lent is over with much bell ringing and singing of alleluias, baptising our youngest member into the body of Christ. There will be no champagne reception afterwards, But we will still gather together online at 7 p.m. for the Vigil, including the Exultet sung beautifully by Jon Throop. I invite you to light a candle at home and ring a bell or make a joyful noise of some sort when we announce that Lent has ended. It will not be a “normal” celebration, but it will be one we’ll always remember.
And then, of course, we invite you to join in tomorrow at 10 a.m. for our Easter Sunday celebration. I hear there’s a move afoot among some of you to wear your Easter hat, and post a picture. Please do! But whether you’re in your Easter hat, your pajamas (or both) join us to celebrate the good news of the resurrection. Bishop Wright will be our preacher. He recorded his Easter sermon earlier this week so that all churches can use it tomorrow. I look forward to hearing him.
I look forward to celebrating with you!