|the Tomb inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre|
It is a beautiful day outside, just like Good Friday was yesterday. But, I have little desire to go outside, little desire to talk with people outside of St. Martin's like I did yesterday.
For one, there is no Mass today until the Solemn Vigil of Easter. Christ is in the tomb, and so we do not re-present the Sacrifice of the Cross until He is risen. There is no Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified, and Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum.
Sure, people did pray the Office of Readings in Church this morning. But, the Church was completely bare. There were no candles like last night, since we used them during the rite of Holy Communion. Sure, people are setting up flowers in preparation for Easter. But it's otherwise very quiet.
The Church encourages us to fast or abstain from meat in some combination until tonight.
From the Office of Readings:
The Lord's descent into hell"What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.
Now, Christ did not descend into Hell in order to continue suffering, so that we might no longer suffer on Earth. If he wanted to end suffering, God would have completely abolished it. Instead, we unite ours to His. Pick up our cross.
The Blessed Mother is a perfect example, for it was her Son upon the Cross that day, and she kept silent, always deep in prayer.
I must offer an emphatic WELCOME HOME TO ROME to all those who will be reconciled with the Church through the water of Baptism and the oil of Confirmation tonight!