Palm Sunday. Good Friday.
Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday.
This year, because most Christians in the US were not able to go to church on Palm Sunday, many of us “cut branches,” as it says in scripture, and put them on our doors. I participated in this enthusiastically, cutting a leafy branch from one of my bushes Sunday morning before mass, holding it up during the blessing of the palms and holding on to it throughout as I usually do with my palm, and then taping it to my door afterwards. (I was pleased I had some tie-dye Duck Tape to use, to add a touch of Godspell vibe to it!) I liked how it looked as well as its witnessing/evangelizing aspect, and decided to keep it up throughout Holy Week.
I’m not usually a visual arts person, but the idea for this montage came to me all at once a few days later, when I noticed how the now-drooping branch I’d put on my door resembled the drooping body of Christ on many crucifixes.
Holy Saturday is often skipped over in discussions of Holy Week, in our rush to get to the joy of the resurrection. But the sorrow and emptiness of Holy Saturday makes a liturgical space for those who mourn, and counters our culture’s discomfort around grief, bereavement, and death. In 2020, we need this witness more than ever.
However you observed Holy Week and Easter this year, dear Christian readers, I hope you found them consoling, inspiring, faith-deepening, and at least momentarily joyful. And for my non-Christian readers, I hope you too found moments of consolation, inspiration, and joy this week along whatever path you follow.
Christ is risen!
Truly, he is risen!