On Good Friday, the stark church, the bare altar, and the empty tabernacle help us to feel the desolation of the disciples. They had lost everything and were in despair. Good Friday is the only day of the year on which Mass is not celebrated. Though we still receive Jesus through previously consecrated hosts, we are reminded that today is not an ordinary day, and that to be without Jesus is to suffer.
On Holy Saturday, there is no regular daily Mass. Today's reflection on the Mass, from Presentation Ministries, via MyCatholic.com, touches on this beautifully:
"I opened to my Lover – but my Lover had departed, gone. I sought Him but I did not find Him; I called to Him but He did not answer me." –Song of Songs 5:6
On this Holy Saturday, there is no Mass, no eucharistic presence in the tabernacles of our Churches, no eucharistic readings proclaimed for the world to hear. Jesus our Life (Jn 14:6; 11:25) has fallen to the ground and died (Jn 12:24). He has been buried in the tomb, and we who are baptized into Him have also been buried with Him (see Rm 6:4). We are deprived of His special eucharistic presence until tonight's Easter Vigil.
To read the rest of the reflection, go here.
We must wait until this evening to celebrate, and celebrate we will! Our entire family will attend the Easter Vigil tonight, and we will welcome into the Church a couple for whom we've been praying since last September. Atticus and I knew them, a dozen years ago, when we were all members of the Episcopal Church. We'd fallen out of touch, but last fall, as prayer partners for the RCIA program, we found out they were on this journey. They didn't know of our prayers until last Sunday, when we met with them at their regular RCIA meeting, surprising them with our prayers and support.
Tonight, through the Vigil, we will experience all of salvation history through Scripture, music and the beautiful rituals that appeal to all of our God-given senses. The night will culminate in the gift of Jesus through the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and we will receive Him with our new brothers and sisters in Christ with great joy.
My anticipation is great. The Easter Vigil is at hand. I've missed Him. I eagerly await His Resurrection, its attendant wonder, and the bliss that is made real through, by, and because of Him.