Holy Saturday or “Black Saturday” as it’s known is some traditions; the time when the body of Christ lay in the Tomb before Resurrection. We celebrated Good Friday with much music; Mozart’s Requiem with the wonderful wavelengths of sound filling our Cathedral; crowded with listeners-those who begin to make their half-yearly voyage to the church for services.
Saturday becomes something of a day of preparation for those of us who will serve on Easter, our holiest of holy days with beginning at 6AM for us with The Great Vigil of Easter. Our service long, punctuated with my favorite incense and purification of the water by the Bishop. Perhaps the most solemn aspect of this service is the lighting of the Paschal Candle from the new fire; made new this early morning; the first candle to light our church darkened from the previous Thursday service (a simple but contemplative mass). All of these services new for me in my new roles in the church.
I started Saturday out with a training run; the weather warmed by Spring in the Midwest. A shower threatened but I didn’t mind because I know that the rain would be cooling in the warmth of the morning. I didn’t need my shades; refused to run with music. I wanted to concentrate on what was happening in my mind/body as I was ready for this run.
I covered the fastest new mile since I have been training; increasing my speed enough to run 2 minutes less than my usual mile time. I ran the course fast enough to drop my average mile time by 30 seconds; gratifying for me. I felt that speed would not come; lagging behind my distance but speed will come slowly. The warm weather was helpful for me.
Later my Saturday afternoon and early evening spent with a friend who asked me to meet one of his friends. I kept going back and forth with this friend but finally didn’t mind taking some time to sample some of his cooking and other things. He’s quite equivocal in planning right now for his retirement, something that he shares with me. I enjoyed his cooking but I don’t eat much these days because I am losing weight for my distance running training. Still, it was a nice party; laid back and met a good person.
When I finally headed toward home, I decided at the last minute to take in one of the student plays; the decision made almost last-minute as I had to drive by the campus on my way home from my friend’s house. Since I had to be at the church by 5AM, I didn’t need a late night on Holy Saturday but I wanted to see at least part of this play; always interested in what students are doing. My plan was to slip into the back of the theater and slip out early if needed. I wanted to see how this play was handled in a student production.
As I found the theater, I also happened to see one of my colleagues seated in the lobby of the theater; greeted me with his usual high energy and spirit. The great thing was that he is one of my favorite people and just seeing him made attending this play an amazing experience. I would rather spend five minutes in his presence doing something ordinary than 5 days with most people around me. Yes, he’s just that impressive; funny and provocative in a wonderful manner; cool in every way for me.
He didn’t mind that I sat with him; his comments and ideas about this play made it stunning as I could picture them when he mentioned them. I thoroughly enjoyed spending this Holy Saturday evening with an astonishing genius who makes me consider possibilities and affirms my presence; my heart glad at the same time. He is truly someone I can’t believe I even know. His presence was exactly what my mind needed and made my ordinary amazing; for which I am humbly grateful and so happy this Easter; about to run in the warm wind.