Day 40 : 8 April : Holy Saturday

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.

| Job 14.1-14 | Psalm 31.1-8 | 1 Peter 4.1-11 | Matthew 27.57-66 |

Shroud of Christ

Ivanka Demchuck (Ukraine, 1990– ) Shroud of Christ.

Jesus is laid in the tomb
by Malcolm Guite

Here at the centre everything is still,
Before the stir and movement of our grief
That bears its pain with rhythm, ritual,
Beautiful useless gestures of relief.
So they anoint the skin that cannot feel
And soothe his ruined flesh with tender care,
Kissing the wounds they know they cannot heal,
With incense scenting only empty air.
He blesses every love that weeps and grieves,
And makes our grief the pangs of a new birth.
The love that’s poured in silence at old graves,
Renewing flowers, tending the bare earth,
Is never lost. In him all love is found
And sown with him, a seed in the rich ground.

 from "The Stations of the Cross" in Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year. Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2012, p. 43.

George Frideric Handel. "Disserratevi, o porte d'Averno," from La Resurrezione. (1708) HWV47.
Soprano Emma Kirkby. Academy of Ancient Music (on period instruments), cond. Christopher Hogwood.

Disserratevi, o porte d'Averno,
e al bel lume d'un nume ch'è eterno
tutto in lampi si sciolga l'orror!
Cedete, orride porte,
cedete al re di gloria,
che della sua vittoria
voi siete il primo onor.

Open yourselves, O gates of Avernus,*
and in the beautiful light of God who is eternal
all in light dispelling horror!
Surrender, ghastly doors,
yield to the King of Glory,
that of his victory
you may be the first honour.

*Avernus = The entrance to Hell or the underworld.

John Taverner (d. 1545). Dum Transisset Sabbatum. Alamiré (2010)
A depiction of the moment (at sunrise) immediately before Mary Magdalen discovers that the stone of Jesus’ tomb has been rolled away.

Dum transisset Sabbatum, Maria Magdalene et Maria Jacobi et Salome emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum. Alleluia. Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum orto iam sole.

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. Alleluia. And very early in the morning the first day of the week.

May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.