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Reflections on Holy Saturday

By Megan O’Brien Crayne

Megan O’Brien Crayne is the campus minister for the BRCC.

A few weeks ago, when things started shutting down in earnest, a friend of mine posted on Facebook, This is the weirdest thing that's ever happened.” There is a pervasive sense of surrealness, almost of absurdity, everywhere I turn. Over and over I hear people express disbelief that this is happening -- even after three weeks of our “new normal.” For me, the most unsettling part is not knowing when it will end.

I imagine the disciples must have felt similarly on the first “Holy Saturday.” They had re-oriented their lives toward Jesus, staked their reputation on what he said, restructured their very being in light of his teachings. And suddenly, he is gone. And the disciples are alone. Their world has shut down.

In many ways, it feels entirely fitting that there is a worldwide pandemic during Lent, that non-essential businesses are closed and we are being isolated from one another. Of course life is subdued, of course I can’t go out to eat, of course I can’t hang out with friends -- it’s Lent, a time of renewed focus and simplicity, of dedication to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

But I can’t imagine how it will feel on Easter. Today is the day of nothingness, of uncertainty -- even in normal circumstances, altars are bare, Tabernacles are empty, and Mass is not celebrated -- but tomorrow is the day of resurrection, of celebration, of gathering and rejoicing and hope.

In the midst of the pandemic, in the midst of the nothingness, we must hold fast to the hope of the resurrection, knowing that this, too, shall pass, and that what is to come will be more beautiful than we could have imagined.


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