Do you know what Silent Saturday is?

By Vivian Marino

Every year, I take a couple of days after Easter Sunday to look back and reflect on Holy Week.

The week leading up to Easter is often packed with so many school activities that I need time to just ponder and process it all.

For the past couple of years, I have chosen one day out of the Easter Triduum – Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday evening – on which to reflect. The day I’ve repeatedly picked is Holy Saturday or Silent Saturday.

This is the day that Jesus lay in his tomb; it is a period of waiting between the crucifixion and the resurrection. Not much attention is given to this day and, perhaps, that is the reason I am so captivated by it.

What draws me to Silent Saturday is the Roman soldier who was at the foot of the cross on Friday during the crucifixion. Mark 15:39 states, “When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, ‘This man truly was the Son of God.’” I can only imagine the intense emotion of regret and guilt that set in following this. He knew the damage had been done, and he had contributed to it.

Why does Silent Saturday hold a special meaning in my heart? It is because I can identify with the Roman soldier; I have sat in the silence of immense guilt and regret for my actions. We are human, and it’s inevitable that we are going to make mistakes; after all, God gave us free will.

However, sometimes the mistakes we make are huge and there is no turning back. How many times have we done something terribly wrong out of fear and misunderstanding, or we have judged people unfairly without taking the time to know their story and truth? Thus, we sit with the consequences of our actions, our own Silent Saturday.

Fortunately, it is when we sit and wait that we realize there is a Sunday, whereby Jesus pours out his mercy and rescues us. The resurrection is a reminder that there is hope in the wait. Despite all our failings or wrongdoings, Jesus is there even when we sit in silence.

He reminds us of this in John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

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