Between the pain and darkness of Good Friday and the unimaginable joy of Easter Day is Holy Saturday. It is not a day we give much attention to. Churches are quiet, unvisited, but for those preparing for the first celebration of the Resurrection in the Easter Vigil. It is a day between other days, seemingly lacking any meaning of its own.
What must that first Saturday been like for the followers of Jesus? I imagine them gathered together for some form of comfort. But there is no comfort against the shock of what has taken place. For some there is the silence of numbed disbelief. Others share in bittersweet conversation: memories are exchanged of meals shared and stories told by the one who is now inexplicably absent. It was not meant to happen this way. From here there is no path to follow – no future to unfold.
Easter Day will come – we know this. But those gathered together in the confusion and distress of mourning have no such surety. This day – this Saturday – seems to stretch forward unendingly.
For me Holy Saturday marks all our inbetween days. Ending has not yet become beginning. Seeking has not yet become finding. The dawn of understanding has not yet broken through a long night without meaning.
Holy Saturday is the feast day for all of us who now live with uncertainty and wrestle with the unresolved. The body of Jesus lies in a hurriedly prepared tomb and there, perhaps, our hope lies, waiting, but as yet unrealised.
This day too is part of the Easter mystery, and these inbetween days, though painful and disorientating, hold life – though we cannot yet see or taste it.