Friday is what we call Good Friday. The Gospel is from John – a long reading, but I will only focus on one word in the original (τετελεσται – tetelestai) usually translated “It is finished.” This phrase could mean, “this is the end” – it’s over and done with, but I rather think it ought to be taken as “the task is accomplished” – it’s now been acheived, completed! The human life of Jesus on earth from conception to death and in heaven for ever, was and is to bring about the unity of all creation with and within God. This last word from the cross, reads to me as the beginning of the completion of creation. Our bible begins with the start “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earh…” (Genesis 1:1), and is brought closer to what actually is happening in time with “In the beginning was the Word … and the Word became human (was made flesh)” (Jn 1:1,14). We have a role to play as humans with free will – Jesus’ life exemplified this for us and we celebrate the completion of this in Him “It is completed”( Jn 19:30)
The Holy Saturday evening service begins outside church with a fire and the peparation of the Easter candle. (after the passion and death of Christ there’s light). The procession into church as the lights go on, leads the candle which is put in its stand and the joyful ‘exultation’ begins – this is called the ‘exultet’ from its opening word in latin, meaning ‘Rejoice!’ I love it, and you could listen to it in English here.
After that there is a series of readings relating the history of it all from Genesis, the call of Abraham, the escape from slavery in Egypt etc. The gospel (a word that means ‘good news’) follows. That would be followed by the blessing of water for baptism, the renewal of our commitment and sprinkling with water. Then the rest of the mass rounding off – completing – our celebration. Something to rejoice about even in our present situation.
A Happy Easter to You, my reader!