All Flesh Shall See It: Holy Saturday Is For Ever

Today a grave holds him who holds creation in his hand. A gravestone covers him who covers the heavens with glory. Life sleeps. Hell trembles. The human race waits with bated breath....

'We have been buried with Christ through baptism. In faith we will journey with him into dark and unknown places.'

He who holds all things together was lifted up on the cross and all creation lamented. The sun hid its rays. The stars withheld their light. The earth shook in fear. The seas fled and the rocks were split. Tombs were opened. The bodies of holy people were raised. The nether world groaned. The authorities spread a false report about Christ's resurrection. All creation waits with bated breath.

We bless Joseph who came to the Governor by night and asked for the Life of all to be laid in his garden of graves. We bless Mary who with sorrow wept as she saw her son hanging on the tree. Her heart was pierced with a sword, as the prophet Simeon had foretold.

We bless you for the women, who went to the grave to watch, to weep and offer fragrant spices of devotion. We too, will watch and weep and offer our devotion.

Let us recall what was said about the One whom we mourn: 'No one ever loved as he loved. Someone might lay down their life for a person who did them good: but he laid down his life for those who did him only harm. No one spoke as he spoke. He spoke with authority. He knew what was within people. We observed him, he was full of grace and truth. We were drawn to him because he alone had the words of eternal life. He was the voice of the poor, of the dispossessed, who cried, 'Come to me, all you who are loaded with heavy burdens.' He cried over our city, 'How often I would have gathered you to me as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not heed me. Now it is too late.'

We mourn a life of such goodness, cut down in its flower. We mourn for a people who forfeited the flowering of their destiny. We mourn for a planet which rejected its Maker. We mourn for ourselves who languish alone. Christ, you go forth on your journey. The mortal shall be clothed with the immortal. The perishable shall be clothed with the imperishable. All flesh shall see it. The spirits of the dead shall be raised. We shall all be changed. Christ, go forth on your journey. .. And we shall go forth on ours.

From 'Liturgies from Lindisfarne' published by Kevin Mayhew.

Posted at 22:45pm on 22nd April 2011
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