Holy Saturday

We Wait In Stillness

We hold in the stillness of our breath and we wait.

It’s the Sabbath, Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter.

Mary, Mother of Jesus

The day of the crucifixion of Jesus took place on a Friday. The Sabbath would begin at sundown. On this weekly day of worship in the Jewish faith, they were forbidden to work from sundown of Friday, the beginning of Sabbath, until nightfall on Saturday, the end of Sabbath. Therefore, they wanted to procure the body of Jesus and place it in a tomb before the Sabbath started.

One of the symbols of Holy Saturday is the Pietà, a representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of her son.

When they took Jesus down from the cross, Mary, the mother of Jesus, held his broken body with love pouring forth from her heart. In spite of her decimating sorrow, Mary did not turn away. She tenderly held the precious son she had birthed into this physical world.

Could Mary know what was to come? She could only hold steady in her faith and love, and wait.

Frankincense And Myrrh

Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews.
With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus.
Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.
This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

They prepared his body for the tomb. The body was likely anointed with embalming oils – myrrh, to protect from decay and frankincense for fragrance. The same precious oils brought to the Jesus child by the Three Wise Men, foreshadowing this event.

The aromatic perfumes and resins used in burials had a dual purpose. Perhaps the more obvious reason to use perfumes and aromatic resins is to mask the inevitable smell of decay.
The other purpose is related to the chemical properties of the oils, which slow the process of decay and protect the body from insect scavenging.

Disciples Wait In Sorrow

As for the disciples of Jesus, they were in hiding. They were stunned, their teacher was dead. How could this be? Wasn’t he going to free them from Roman rule? What about all his teachings and healings? What would become of that?

How could they know they were waiting for a Resurrection?

Swallowed by sorrow and despair at the loss of their teacher, their beloved rabonni, especially under such harsh circumstances, they wept. Bitter tears washed through their souls.

Fear and anxiety also swept over them. Would the authorities arrest and kill them, too?

But. for this moment, Holy Saturday, there was nothing to be done outwardly. It was the Sabbath, a day of rest, work was not allowed.

They waited.

We Wait With Hearts Aflame

Whether we are religious or not, whether we’re Christian or not, we can participate in the symbolism of Holy Saturday. We build upon our awareness of process.

Jesus didn’t jump down from the cross, already resurrected, despite being mocked to do so as he was dying. It was a process that took physical time. Who knows how much inner time was required?

We live in a process in our every day lives. We walk through cycles of birth and death. Loved ones are with us, and then leave us. Seasons come and go, cycles begin and end. Within them all is a process of Holy Saturday, of holding and waiting.

With use of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), we can direct to these cycles, the moments when it seems like nothing is happening because we can’t see anything. Yet, look deep within. Take an active participation and hold steady with the light in your meditations. Bring your awareness to a cycle as you move through your TRT® hands-on positions.

We hold, but we’re not passively holding. Our hearts flutter in anticipation. We have the knowledge that a Resurrection is coming.

We wait for the flame to be lit.

We wait for the sun to rise.

We wait for the moment we will walk free into the light.

We wait through Holy Saturday.

Easter Transcendence

The Point In the Middle

Where the horizontal and the vertical meet, there is your transcendence.

A Symbolic Path

Within the symbolism of the cross, there lies a path of transformation. We can acknowledge the outer world which is represented by the horizontal line and bring to our realization that this outer existence intersects with the transcendental world which is represented by the vertical line. That holy meeting place of the two worlds lives in our consciousness.

Easter celebrates the resurrection, the transcendence of life over death.

Death and birth lie on the horizontal line and are parts of our outer world.

On the vertical line, the energy of life is always moving and rising up.

Life is wide and deep and while it steps out of the outer world, it also intersects with it in a greater whole. 

For Your Meditations

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can celebrate the Easter holiday and its transcendental energy whether they perceive themselves as Christians or not.

Step into the symbolism and let it guide your awareness. Suggested for your meditations is a focus on TRT® hands-on positions #1 on the Front and #3 on the Head, or a combination of #1  and #3 on the Front for a period of 10 to 15 minutes.

Happy Easter.

Artwork by J. Vincent

 

(The Radiance Technique® is not associated with any religion
or belief system.  Please see About for more details.)

Easter Comes On Sunday

If you're looking for Easter, you will always find it on Sunday.

The trick is figuring which Sunday. That's when the hunt begins.

 

Easter Is A Wandering Celebration

You undoubtedly noticed that Easter wanders around the calendar. You have to check each year as to when you'll need to have your Easter bonnet purchased.

Easter can be celebrated as early as the end of March or in the last half of April. The Easter holiday schedule from now until 2050 shows Easter as early as March 25 and as late as April 25. That's a lot of wandering.

Easter is a moveable feast. It evokes something magical even though it has a scientific basis in the timing of lunar cycles.

 
The date of Easter is determined according to the lunar calendar (the date of Christmas is fixed on the solar calendar on 25 December).
Before 325 AD, there was no official celebration of the birth of Christ, and Easter was celebrated by some Christians on Passover (a lunar holiday) and by others the following Sunday.

The First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD established that Easter would fall on the Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal (spring) equinox.
The church’s methods are a bit imprecise, in part because the vernal equinox doesn’t always fall on March 21 and in part because the church uses traditional tables (rather than modern astronomy) to determine the dates of full moons.
 
 

Combine The Old And New

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you can bring to your meditations the moon and Easter as well as spring and its new beginnings. The connections extend deep within our history and link back to festivals that existed long before the religion of Christianity.

Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a Germanic goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare.

The exchange of eggs is an ancient custom representing rebirth and one can easily see the new beginning that spring represents. In Persia, eggs have been painted for thousands of years as part of the spring celebration of No Ruz, which is the Zoroastrian new year.

Hot Cross Buns

Easter has an ancient lineage and hot cross buns harken back to that history. Their delightful story reminds us of the adage: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." 

In the Old Testament, the Israelites baked sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders tried to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to stop sacred cakes being baked at Easter. Ultimately, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead. Hence, we benefit today from tasty hot cross buns.

You can apply TRT® hands-on for extended times in your meditations, focusing on the energy of spring and Easter. Explore historical aspects of the celebrations by directing energy (as you learned in The Second Degree of TRT®) to certain topics that interest you.

 

A Moveable Feast

I have always loved the notion of a moveable feast. Partly because it's intriguing to be kept guessing each year, and partly because of the book by that name, written by Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway recounts his life in Paris as a young man during the 1920s and describes it in this well-known quote: 

 
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
— Hemingway
 

I passed though my Hemingway phase during my first years in college. Our youth whispered that we were immortal. There were times when reading his books, I would almost feel tipsy, caused by living vicariously as he quaffed vast amounts of clear, crisp white wine or imbibed in bar-drinks that had to be clean.

We dreamed everything was still possible: 

 
...we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright.
— Hemingway
 

And while we are a bit older and wiser now – spring equinox, Easter, rebirth and moveable feasts are still a part of our celebrations.

Let's meet on Sunday.