Today is Holy Saturday, the day in which Jesus Christ’s body was resting in the tomb. Tonight is the Third Service of the Triduum – the Vigil of Easter. The Triduum consists of the services that run over the course of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. In the Triduum we pass through the three days of Christ’s Passover and remember that through Holy Baptism we have shared in Christ’s saving death and will also share in His resurrection on the Last Day. Tonight’s service focuses on how we have been buried with Christ into His saving death and resurrection. Following the Jewish reckoning of time, a new day in the liturgical practice of the Church begins at sundown. Thus the Vigil of Easter is also the first service of Resurrection of Our Lord.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. (Matthew 27:57-66)
Collect of the Day:
O God, creator of heaven and earth, grant that as the crucified body of Your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with Him the coming of the third day, and rise with Him to newness of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.