Sermon for Holy Saturday

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
and I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark green fields; on an – on
and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
and beauty came like the setting sun;
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
drifted away, O, but everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless;
the singing will never be done.

That is a poem by Siegfried Sassoon that I first came across this Lent,
and the words have kept coming back to me
and seem so appropriate for this evening and the Easter season.

There does seem to be a spontaneous rush of joy in the air.
We have walked with Christ through the painful moments of this week,
we have shared in the heaviness and the struggle of Good Friday,
and now there is that sense of release and outpouring –
a sense of exhilaration as we enter into the Easter celebrations.

The music becomes upbeat and joyful,
following the quiet, reflective, mournful music of yesterday.
The church is filled with beautiful colour and the scent of the flowers;
after the bareness of lent and Holy Week.

The readings, prayers, and liturgy proclaims, in the words of the exsultet,
That Jesus Christ is Risen; Christ has conquered; and Glory fills you.
That grace and holiness has been restored; lost innocence regained;
that mourning is turned to joy; and that heaven is wedded to earth.

These holy days and nights we have travelled through together
are the axis on which our world turns.
May God bless us, transform us, and empower us to share this love with our world.

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
and I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark green fields; on an – on
and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
and beauty came like the setting sun;
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
drifted away, O, but everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless;
the singing will never be done.

 

Advertisements