We’re almost at Easter —- but not yet.
We have one more day to go. 
Holy Saturday.

Holy Saturday is the precipice between yesterday’s tragedy of Good Friday and tomorrow’s triumph of Easter Sunday. 

For me, Holy Saturday is like a Morning-After situation.

The Morning-After when the worst thing that could possibly have happened, happened

when you received the devastating medical diagnosis

when you were fired when you realized you had to self-isolate for 14 days because of COVID19 and couldn’t do your own shopping, get your hair cut or your nails done or play a couple of rounds of golf

when your spouse confessed to cheating

when you were at a great party and woke up with a doozy of a headache and learned you had driven your car and injured or killed someone

when the nightmare of yesterday was real and your beloved spouse or child or parent died and you realize it actually happened and was not just a bad dream

when you discovered your dreams about a special job or school or retirement were shattered.

We likely all have a “Morning-After” story we can relate to.

And if we can’t think of anything in the past, for many, living this COVID19 life, each day, is our Morning-After

… a time that is really difficult to see beyond the escalating virus and the day when our life came to a standstill.

Our Holy Saturday morning experience is similar to the disciples when they couldn’t see beyond the tomb of Jesus, beyond the reality of His crucifixion and death.

The Holy Saturday of long ago and the Holy Saturday of today
… bleak, difficult, impossible.

So we wait.
We keep Vigil.
And sometime, between tonight’s sunset on Holy Saturday and tomorrow’s sunrise on Easter Sunday, we observe the Great Vigil of Easter.

The liturgy of the Great Vigil of Easter begins in darkness.
Then a fire is lit and symbolically brought into the sanctuary/home by a candle. 

As the service of prayerful watching continues, Scripture is read, prayers are offered, the Exsultet is sung, holy Baptism or the Renewal of Baptismal vows happens and the first celebration of Holy Communion begins the glorious Season of Easter with light throughout the room/sanctuary along with joyful music, colourful flowers, great smiles and the exuberant shouting of “Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!” by all who are present. 

A sense of unbridled joy fills hearts as the wilderness of Lent, the Cross, the empty tomb and the great passover moves us from death to life.

In these COVID19 days, when images of death fill the airwaves and people are confined to their homes to avoid contracting or spreading the virulent virus, and we can’t be with others to share the good news that “Christ is risen,” or our Jewish friends cannot be with their loved ones to celebrate Passover, what then?

Why not do what we’ve been doing at 7:00 pm each night to give thanks and celebrate our front line COVID19 workers who are staffing hospitals and ambulances etc.?

Let’s sing out loud in our homes, our streets.
Let’s bang our pots and pans and joyfully proclaim
Easter is here!
Passover is here!  
The Great Vigil of Easter is over!  
We are not alone. 
Hope is alive.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen. He is risen, indeed!

© June Maffin