There are no sacraments today. The font is empty of water, there is no Eucharist, there will be no weddings.
In St Mary’s it’s a day for getting things in order in case we have a resurrection on our hands on Sunday Morning. That means that it’s all hands on deck from 9.30 until about 1 pm to try to get things straight. The sacristy looks rather like a liturgical bomb hit it when everything was stripped out of the church. There are carpets and hassocks to bash free of dirt. There’s a large impressive looking eagle that is in want of a polish. Beeswax (or Mr Pledge) for the pews. There are sly buckets of flowers secreted somewhere in the church waiting to be brought forth in glory. This year there’s even the joy of folding some liturgy booklets. Our wonderful photocopier that folds and staples refused this week of all week either to fold or staple and it has been back to the good old days of document preparation. Alistair the Office Manager has folded and stapled his way almost to delirium, I suspect, but there are still some to go and volunteers are needed.
I like the clean and polish on Holy Saturday. It’s good community time. There really is a job for everyone. If you turn up, expect to be assigned a job. It might be dusting, it might be flower arranging (only for specialists with a PhD in Pew Ends) or it might simply be mopping the Provost’s fevered brow. And in all of this, he will keep his counsel about all that has gone before. No matter who makes him a cup of tea, he is unlikely to divulge who had the prettiest, ugliest or largest feet at the footwashing. What’s washed at the altar stays at the altar.
I like Holy Saturday. Its a great day to enjoy doing practical things today and sometimes to learn a name or have a chat with someone you’ve just not got to know yet on a Sunday. People always say how much they enjoy it and always say we should do that kind of community thing more often. It’s easy to join in with whether your a well kent face or just in town for the triduum.
All hands on deck. All hands needed!