Readings for Holy Saturday
This reflection was shared at Sacred Saunter Outdoor Eucharist on Holy Saturday April 20, 2019 at Sequoia Park in Eureka.
Today is Holy Saturday, the second day of the Paschal Triduum, the day in which Jesus lies dead in the tomb. Yesterday we observed the first day of the Paschal Triduum (Good Friday) here in this same park as we walked the Stations of the Cross. I noticed that the weather was particularly gentle and balmy yesterday. Not so much today. Today the winds of new life are stirring and moving through these trees. Today we consider and contemplate the mystery of new life emerging from death.
A few weeks ago, I talked about humus, the most fertile layer of soil. I talked about the etymological connection between humus, humanity and humility. I explained that we can practice humility by recognizing our utter interdependence on the humus for our survival and wellbeing as humans. What I didn’t say was that humus is composed of primarily dead matter: leaves and sticks and bark that have fallen from the trees. The most fertile part of the ground is composed of mostly dead stuff. In humus, we can recognize the mystery of Holy Saturday, the mystery of new life emerging from death.
Between now and our final station at the tree trunk altar, I invite you to pick something up from off the forest floor that symbolizes for you the mystery of new life emerging from death. We will gather in a circle around the altar (as is our custom) and instead of celebrating Eucharist, you will each be invited to place your symbol on the altar. You may say something about your symbol or simply place it on the altar silently.
As long as it isn’t a piece of trash or something you want to take home with you, we will leave our offerings on the altar and then pray and reflect together on the mystery of new life emerging from death.
One participant noticed a stone with a cross on it and was reminded of Jesus’s words in Luke 19:40 “I tell you, if the people were silent, the stones would shout out.”