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.

Christmas Songs And Mary

Mary And The Birth Of Jesus

What are all our Christmas songs about? We touched upon vernacular and religious songs of the season in another blog post Christmas Songs Across Time.

Christianity brings us the spirit of Christmas. It's the story of the birth of a child, the manifestation of spirit into mortal flesh. This birth of light is embodied through a mere mortal woman, Mary.

Artwork by Jason Jenicke

Mary's Song

What do our Christmas carols tell us about Mary, the earthly Mother of Jesus?

Come to find out, not much. Christmas songs across the years celebrate the birth of Jesus, but there are not many that sing the story from Mary's viewpoint.

In Michael Linton's article on this topic called Looking for Mary in Christmas Carolshe describes with charming humor:

Both the “First Noel” and “Angels from the Realms of Glory” are remarkable for Mary’s invisibility.

In the nine verses of “Noel,” we have the economic condition of the shepherds (poor), the weather report (cold), the star (bright), the homeland of the wise men (far away), their mental condition (assured), the gifts (you know the list), the local livestock (ox and ass), the nature of divine creation (of naught), and, in a verse mercifully found in no hymnal, the doctrine of salvation through good works...

...there’s not even a hint of Mary. She’s simply not there.
— Michael Linton
 

As for Mary's lack of visibility, Linton offers this theory:

Our carols are primarily nineteenth and early twentieth-century Protestant inventions (although the tune dates from the Renaissance, the medieval-sounding text ‘What Child Is This’ was written in 1865), not a time that’s known for its deep Roman Catholic, Protestant cooperation and mutual affection.

Mary can’t be excised from the Christmas story completely, but in the carols she’s mentioned as little as possible, for fear of turning her into an object of cultic devotion, something most Protestants have accused Roman Catholics of doing for a fairly long time.

So Mary merits only passing mention in a few carols or, even better, no mention at all in most.
— Michael Linton
 

Today, there are a few songs that view the miracle of the birth of Jesus through Mary's eyes:

Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) – by Amy Grant

Mary's hesitant questioning speaks to her human frailty. You can almost sense the trembling of her hand as she embarks on this journey. Her doubts give voice to her concerns that she will live up to the task before her.

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
must I walk this path alone?
Breath of Heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me.
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness.
 


For The First Time – by Jason Bare

With his voice and music, Jason Bare paints a scene so we can envision when Mary and Joseph look upon their son, this birth of light, and hear his cries for the very first time.

In a world so dark, heaven and earth would collide and would change who they are.
Could this be the same voice that brought us to life?
Unbelievable, the promise is this little child.
What a miracle.
The world has seen the Light for the first time.
 

Mary, Did You Know? – by Clay Aiken

As Mary held her baby boy for the first time, could she have possibly guessed the future that was about to unfurl in front of him? Clay Aiken wonders out loud if Mary could have known the remarkable destiny of her child and his greater purpose. 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
 

Mary And The Radiant Child

The artwork by Sulamith Wulfing entitled Frohe Weihnachten portrays the radiant child of light held in Mary's heart center.

The symbology is there for all of us to appreciate. It's the awakened child within our hearts, the birth of light into the darkness of this outer existence.

For any Christmas music, students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can bring a song's imagery to their meditations with use of TRT® hands-on. Accessing universal energy with TRT® lets you explore the deeper meaning behind the notes and the words.

What child is this who is awake? Awake in consciousness, even at our birth. 

 

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