Friday, April 02, 2010

Holy and Great Saturday

John 19:38-42
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

First, the conclusion of the Matthew Passion (I am listening to the whole thing today).

Then the harrowing of hell:

Hell was wounded in the heart when it received Him whose side was pierced by the spear; consumed by divine fire it groaned aloud at our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.
--Mattins of Holy Saturday, Lenten Triodion

Despoiler of death, you have delivered us from the last enemy, claiming us forever as your own. All glory to you!

--the BB


susan s. said...

I am glad to hear the St Matthew. We are always treated to the Passion according to St. John. Is it always the reading for Good Friday?

Paul said...

Yes, Susan. The Passions according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke are read on Palm Sunday of their respective years (A, B, and C). John is always read on Good Friday.

The Matthew Passion was performed in spring of my freshman year at Pomona College. I had many friends in both choir and orchestra, so I attended rehearsals, obtained a score, and was absolutely transported when I heard the whole thing. I went to both performances. Although I have never had a piano lesson, I spend hours and hours in the practice rooms, playing parts of the reduced score. There was a time when I could play the entire final chorus (not quite a tempo). I also took a year of German just to understand the text. Needless to say, the entire work is very special for me.