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Keeping Vigil

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Holy Saturday is not something that I was too familiar with growing up. While I spent many of my former years in the Roman Catholic Church, and practicing many traditions, I can’t really recall going out to Easter Vigil as a child. It wasn’t until my adult years as a Minister in a Baptist Church that I began to think more about my faith and the traditions that surround it, particularly those that compose our “High Holy Days” as Christians. (Yes, I chose the word “compose” since it has a musical undertone to keep with the "keys" theme. 😊)

Anyway, several years ago as an Associate Minister and an Adjunct Professor of Theology, I had a colleague in ministry at my church who was very learned in— well, just about everything! She was scholarly and humble and spiritual and well, yes just all-around, lovely. We didn’t chat much about everyday sort of things, but when it came to scholarship and historical church traditions we had sweet conversations. I recall, one year, talking to her about Easter as a moveable feast and about some of the liturgy surrounding it; and I believe that it was in that conversation that the subject of Tenebrae and Easter Vigil came up. Wow, that may have been about six or so years ago, and my dear friend in ministry has since gone home to be with the Lord. But I do recall that it was from that conversation that I began to think, “Next Year I’m going to try that.” I haven't done Tenebrae yet, but for several years now I have been celebrating Holy Saturday Easter Vigil in the Catholic tradition with my family. Of course, last year with the pandemic and social distancing I watched on TV, and tonight, I may keep vigil here at my home while watching and reading through some of the liturgy. But today, at this moment, I remember. I remember the Power of God and the Work of the Holy Spirit in that grave and in my own life. I recall the baptism of water and The Spirit and the joy of new life with God and … yes even my neighbor— because at Easter Vigil we are invited to recall our baptism communally. And so, I remember and I am grateful. I am grateful for this day, that the LORD has made — for us — and I rejoice and am so very glad about it.

So, I pause

in silence,

and remember

and — rejoice.

How about you? What are you grateful for? How has the Holy Spirit worked in your life, even in those areas that seemed hopeless and, well—yes— dead? How can you praise our Triune God for this new holy and blessed day in your life? It’s one that we haven’t seen before and it’s a good day.

I know, I know, for years my Holy Saturday was spent in a chair getting a new “do” at the hairdresser or rushing through the Mall for a new something or other; and with the pandemic some of that has slowed us down a bit. (Note: A new ‘do” and a new something or other can be sweet too.) But let’s intentionally pause today and keep silence for a moment – and remember– and yes rejoice in the Work of the Holy Spirit in our lives – and the lives of one another on this Holy Saturday.

~ A Blessed Triduum to You and Your Family (Yes, I learned how to pronounce Triduum. 😊 )


"mala-Key's musings" is written by The Rev. Dr. Malachy M. Williams who currently serves as a Pastor, Professor and Producer in the New York metropolitan area. Passionate about education, Dr. Williams holds an MA in Dance and Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University; a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary; a PhD from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; and is currently working toward a ThD in Pneumatology with a concentration in Semiotics and The Spirit from Evangelical Seminary. A liturgical dancer of over 30 years, Dr. Williams is the author of Simple Steps for Starting a Youth Dance Ministry. She is also a friendly guide for many on “Rest Stop: Times of Refreshing.” Click Here to "Rest Stop" Dr. Williams is a worshipper who believes in the transformative power of the arts especially through a deeper engagement with God’s Word. ~To God Alone be the Glory.

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