Holy Saturday is a strange day. Setting aside the traditional imagery and prayers for today, in practical terms it occupies a space between the spiritual roller-coaster of Holy Week (and, for one such as myself the absolute draining of strength, physically and mentally) and the joys of Easter morning.
Today was no exception. After a delicious, early, family breakfast at the Fairway, Poxaboque (the only place to have breakfast around here!) the demands of parish tasks and visits swiftly took over. It was afternoon when I finally regained control of my day, and did a little Easter shopping.
The Bridgehampton "Commons" was to say the least, manic. But to give them credit most people were in a good Easter/Passover mood. I say most. One audible exception was a woman in the supermarket who was calling (we assume) her husband on her cellphone, shouting something like: After twenty years I don't expect this! What aisle are you in? Ah! What deep paschal bliss!
Such a weekend cannot be without its rituals and traditions, Jewish or Christian. Yet I wonder how many families and individuals are tradition-less over these special days? So many, I sadly think. Which pushes my presently-exhausted theological mind (with only two huge church services to go) to think certain things.
Whether one personally and actively engages with the Judaeo-Christian faith, or not, no-one can ever dispute that both the stories of the Exodus and the Resurrection, literary or otherwise, historical or not, have shaped the thinking world more than any other political or philosophical movement. And both have produced wonderful traditions and rituals in communities, families and individuals, that have great worth and significance, giving a sense of history and belonging.
In a modern, highly individualistic, western world that seems to be craving deeper meaning, yet seemingly eschewing such things, surely we need to rediscover older rituals that do two vital things? Draw us together as community, and then speak of greater meaning.
Even the dyeing of eggs. And the baking of cakes. And ...