Filling the blank: Holy Saturday

Thomas O?Loughlin

The gap in the liturgy on Holy Saturday reminds us of our links with the Sabbath and the complex origins of our religion. Thomas O?Loughlin is professor of historical theology at the University of Nottingham.

Holy Satuday is the great blank space in the liturgical year. Nothing seems to be happening: there are no special ceremonies, the Eucharist is not celebrated, and it is not even brought to the sick except as viaticum. In monastic communities the Liturgy of the Hours continues, but even here there is a sense of continuing the thoughts of yesterday or a sense of simply waiting for the vigil. Most of the actual liturgical activity that does take place in communities is severely practical in nature:

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