It’s Holy Saturday, and Our Lord’s Sacred Body is in the tomb. Yesterday I prayed in the church where the Eucharist had been taken out of the tabernacle, and so the doors of the tabernacle were open, the candle was dark, and the curtain behind the tabernacle’s golden doors was tied up to show the emptiness inside. How bleak it was to see that as I prayed from noon to three! Our Lord was on the Cross for a very long time, suffering every pain and humiliation. Definitely on my list to do next year, I found that a very special way to pray on Good Friday.
But today is Holy Saturday, and this is the day we remember that Our Lord’s Body is in the tomb. His soul went down to “harrow hell” and bring out the souls of the just, such as all the patriarchs from Adam to King David to St. John the Baptist, to Heaven. Perhaps the most touching moment was when he saw his dear foster-father again–I like to imagine the joy they must have felt when reunited.
Here are two images (from Wikipedia!) of the “harrowing of hell” for you to meditate with today, giving you a little preview of Easter:
(The Harrowing of Hell by Nikolay Koshelev, 1900)
I have recently discovered the incredible artwork of Russian artists who painted in the realistic/naturalistic style. For most of my life I honestly believed that Russian Sacred Art was all and only icons! (As I have discovered more and more beautiful works, I have added them to my Sacred Art board on Pinterest, where you can see them if you are interested.)
(The Harrowing of Hell by Fra Angelico)
Long having used a Rosary meditations book featuring art by Fra Angelico, I love his work but had not seen this before today. Isn’t it amazing? (This is why I am so passionate about a revival of the Sacred Arts!)
Today I will be decorating my home altar for the Easter Octave. The Easter Season begins this evening with the Easter Vigil, so I am just waiting for Vespers (at sundown) to light up the candles and pray for the Church. (I’ll post pictures later of how it looks.) I am so excited about the joyful day to come tomorrow–we will feast and rejoice. Hopefully you will be joining me in celebrating the Octave, and the entire Easter Season!
Have a Blessed Easter with your families!