The sound of Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday. What does it actually mean within the Easter narrative? We might go to church on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but what of Saturday? Easter Saturday can seem just like a normal day, a break from the Easter story.

On Maundy Thursday we reflect on the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. On Good Friday we reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross. And on Easter Sunday we reflect on and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. So what happens on Easter Saturday? It’s the day that Jesus’ body was lying in the tomb, the day we skip over, the day when the story goes silent. Easter Saturday is a day of silence and yet we fill it with busyness and distraction and noise.

The Maundy Thursday service that I went to this year was ‘book-ended’ by listening to Disturbed’s rendition of The Sound of Silence. Prior to the service I’d read the lyrics to the first verse in an academic paper but I had never listened to a cover of the song before. And as I was listening to the song at the beginning of the service it sounded particularly haunting. It wasn’t until the end of the service though (and in later listenings) that I truly heard the words.

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

It might be a slightly different interpretation of these words to normal, but isn’t this what we spend Easter Saturday doing? Talking and hearing without actually being willing to acknowledge the silence, afraid to disturb the sound of silence and admit what it actually means.

And what’s the consequence? “Silence like a cancer grows” and it becomes harder and harder to think about and talk about and acknowledge.

Something about the first verse also resonates deeply with me…

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

Our own silences and darkness, when we live in a society that dares not disturb them, are forced to remain silent and in the dark…

At a service I attended last Sunday, in recognition and acknowledgement of the Palm Sunday marches that were happening around the country, we each prayerfully wrote something on a mini placard that was then brought to the front as part of our prayers for others. On mine I wrote something along the lines of praying that there would be an ear to hear every voice that speaks. That rather than hearing silence that we might actually hear the words that people are speaking. The cries from people who are in darkness.

I wonder what would change if society, rather than being filled with “people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening”, was filled with

People talking, speaking of the silence
People hearing, listening to the darkness

What would it mean if there was a naming and acknowledging and disturbing of the silence and the darkness in our world?

I wonder what it would sound like to speak of the silence of Easter Saturday…

I wonder what would be heard if we listened to the silence of Easter Saturday…

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