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Holy Saturday reflection

Holy Saturday 3 April

by Deacon Selina

Transport by Anthony Gormley

I chose this sculpture because I wanted to convey the concept of waiting. Saturday in Holy Week is a strange day, as we are suspended between the sorrow of Good Friday and the joy of Easter Day.

I spent a lot of time under this work of art, in the perfect stillness of the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral. As we waited for our services to begin during Easter schools, this sculpture slowly and silently moved around over our heads. It was mesmerising and somehow it captures for me the sense of suspension and waiting in expectation.

Made by Anthony Gormley from nails from the roof of Canterbury Cathedral, it is suspended in the Corona, over the site of the tomb of Thomas à Beckett the so-called 'turbulent priest' who was murdered in the cathedral.

Gormley wrote of this piece :
We are all the temporary inhabitants of a body. It is our house, instrument and medium. Through it, all impressions of the world come and from it all our acts, thoughts and feelings are communicated.

This poem is by T.S. Elliot and comes from East Coker

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away --
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing --
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Lord, as in the waiting and stillness of a cocoon, where the promise of beauty awaits, give us faith to believe that endings are but the promises of new beginnings, and that graves are but the doorways to new life. For you, Lord, have gone ahead of us, so that we may fear no more. Amen.

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