Listen to Holy Saturday. Listen to Life.
If you were to look at the list of my most-played tunes, Ludovico Einaudi and Daniel Hope’s I Giorni: Andante would top the list.
In fact, I play it so often, the next-highest ranked songs in my Apple Music have taken it upon themselves to leave slots 2, 3, and 4 open, just out of deference.
If a person were to have a soul-song, this would be mine (my daughter simply is Copland’s Appalachian Spring incarnate, and Karl radiates nothing if not Pharrell Williams Happy).
Somehow, you see, in the 5 minutes and 40 seconds it takes to play I Giorni, the musicians entwine grief, melancholy, hope, and delight.
In parts of the piece, one emotion or another is highlighted, in others, somehow, the piano, the violin, and the string ensemble harmonize it all: as if it is possible to live all of those elements of life at once.
Sometimes just one, maybe two instruments play, and at others, they join together in complement.
Today is Holy Saturday.
I have long called it the most honest day of the Church.
It bridges the despair of the cross with the hope of the empty tomb.
That’s Life, for most of us anyway.
We have suffered, and many of us chronically suffer, in one way or another.
It is simply true.
We know loss, we know regret, we know exhaustion, we know loneliness, we know disappointment, we know anger—some righteous, some not.
But to linger there, to stay there, to reside there, lets death win every damn day.
So, to spite and in spite of death’s looming presence, we also laugh (here, a lot). We love, we eat, we snuggle, we crack puns, we enjoy friendships, we savor solidtude, we buy seeds in winter, we pitch balls to hounds in the back yard.
That said, with all due respect for Easter, the Holiest of Days (and the day which begins and ends the way I think about God), if we live now only as if Life Wins, we are nothing more than “Shiny Happy People.” We are blinded to the realities that while Life ultimately wins, it doesn’t always penultimately; that is, death still is a Thing, for the moment.
Sometimes it is a very, very big Thing.
Holy Saturday, though, Holy Saturday recognizes and honors both of these truths: death and life.
Insofar as that’s true, Holy Saturday, just like I Giorni (which, as a relevant aside, means, “The Days,”) entwines grief, melancholy, hope, and delight, because it too knows that it is possible to live all of those elements of life at once.
So give the below a listen.
Listen to Holy Saturday.
Listen to Life.
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Contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org to visit about personal or congregational consultations, as well as to speak about booking her to present at your next event.
She also runs The Spent Dandelion Theological Retreat Center, where you can come to Retreat, Reflect, and Restore at her North Shore home. Visit www.spentdandelion.com to learn more!