Saturday, April 30, 2005

Israel Revisited in a Tomb

Wonderful Holy Saturday service--four-year anniversary of my chrismation--didn't seem as long as last year's, though. Some things that struck me, though:
  • Our church building, being (for the moment) small and having one window only, is very much like a tomb. Add this to the already-present Presence of our Lord in the Tomb, and you have a wonderful reality of the faithful, already buried through baptism, now mystically sealed within the Tomb with their Lord. (We Orthodox believe that, in the Divine Services, we are actually, mystically brought to the moment, the place where the Holy events in our Lord's life happened...our services and hymns, one can see, are always written in the present..."Today the Lord comes, etc.")
  • As we stood over the Body of our Lord (Who is with us via an icon woven into a cloth which is then draped over a "tomb"), we read fifteen readings from the Old Testament, a wonderful catechism spanning from the Creation of the World (God rested on both this and that Holy Saturday) to many of the typologies of Christ within the Old Testament to the many foreshadowings of the Resurrection from the dead, of which Christ would be the Firstfruits.The list of readings for Holy Saturday can be found in these footnotes, after the number 1.
I wish all my Orthodox brothers and sisters who read this a very blessed rest of Holy Saturday and a glorious Pascha! May the risen Christ rise also in our hearts through faith! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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