Holy Saturday

As someone who has not engaged with the Christian calendar for some years, I have been unaware until now of the significance of Holy Saturday.

I have recently been leading workshops on “Clearing the Way” and “Letting Go”. Last weekend, at the Quaker Study Centre, Woodbrooke, I spoke to some friends in one of the breaks about a trip many years ago to Taizé, the ecumenical monastery in central France. I had gone at Easter, in silence, reading Christian mysticism, and had become thoroughly miserable. It was not until the joy of the Christian Easter erupted all around me that I felt the release, and was moved to speak.

In response to my story, someone said that Easter Saturday marked the necessary time of waiting, between death and resurrection, break-down and transformation. Although waiting on the Spirit for a time of clarity is a very familiar experience to me, particularly in a process of change, I had never understood it in terms of the Easter story, and this insight has made a profound impression on me. As is the way with any new understanding, suddenly it is all about me. One of the participants in my course happened to be reading a book with a section on Holy Saturday, and she kindly sent it to me. Today, at my first session of Alexander Technique, the teacher talked of letting go, and the necessity of entering into a space between our old habits and the place we hope to move to. She didn’t name it, but the space is the place of Holy Saturday.