As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Holy Saturday Icon and Prayer


The great Moses mystically foreshadowed this day when he said:
God blessed the seventh day.
This is the blessed Sabbath.
This is the day of rest,
on which the only-begotten Son of God
rested from all His works.
He kept the Sabbath in the flesh,
through the dispensation of death.
But on this day, He returned again
through the resurrection.
He has granted us eternal life,
for He alone is good, the Lover of man.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Gordios said...

It's amazing how many times one of my searches brings me back to your blog.

You might recall I commented on your post re: The Harrowing of Hell.

I was glad to see that someone understood the theology of the icon so often mis-labeled, "Resurrection".

So today I found this icon in my search for the icon "Extreme Humility" (which is so often confused with "Christ, The Bridegroom).

It seems that the icon you have here cannot be of Holy Saturday.

We know that Christ was in the grave for three days, which means He was fully entombed before sundown on Good Friday (according to Hebrew law), even if the stone rolled into place with only one second of Friday left.

This is clearly not an icon of Christ in the grave but rather Christ in Repose, prepared for burial.

That does not mean that this is not "in the tomb", for it is certainly correct that it was those who loved Him who prepared him for burial.

This also explains the two male figures not normally seen in icons of the crucifixion.

For one must be The Apostle Saint John who Jesus loved.

The other would be Saint Joseph of Arimathea, he who donated the tomb.

Once the stone rolled into place and Good Friday passed into Holy Saturday, there would be no one in the tomb except Christ Jesus.

Icons best describing that time are The Harrowing of Hell, "Extreme Humility" and "Christ The Bridegroom".

I believe this is why The Theotokos is not usually depicted in "Extreme Humility", for only in the moment of full submission to His creation (when the stone had sealed the tomb) would the extent of the humility of Christ Jesus be realized.

Certainly a case can be made for the presence of The Theotokos in Extreme Humility, for just as The Incarnation had made them one with each other, so had the entombment of Christ fully humiliated she who was being called a harlot instead of The Mother of God.

I didn't mean to go that far afield. Once I get writing...

In any case, your blog and the icons contained herein are certainly a blessing to me.

In Christ,

Gordios

4:44 AM  
Blogger The Poor Blogger said...

Thanks for your comments. I don't know why I didn't see them until today.

I'm always a little fuzzy on what happened when because of the difference between modern concepts of days (ending at 11:59 pm) and NT concepts (ending at Sunset). I think of this icon, along with "Extreme Humility" and "The Harrowing of Hades" all as appropriate for Holy Saturday if for no other reason than the crucifixion itself seems a more than sufficient image for Good Friday.

2:05 PM  

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