Holy Saturday: A Place Where There is Music

Holy Saturday
Today’s Readings


Growing up, el sábado santo (Holy Saturday) was a day of silence starting on Holy Friday and lasting until Easter.  We lived in my Abuela’s home, and her house was never quiet except for those two somber days. Abuela had been an accomplished singer and now taught others to sing.  In the suffering Havana of my childhood, food was scarce, water rationed, and there was no electricity most nights; it could have been a hopeless existence. But my grandmother taught me to play the piano and sing even in the dark, I just needed my fingers, my memory of their place on the keyboard, and to lift my voice. Music was an act of faith. But on Holy Saturday we abstained from beauty to join the grieving Creation. We would wait for the dawn and the music would return.

When I was ripped from my home by political cataclysms I couldn’t possibly understand, the music went silent. Immigrants undergo an excruciating process, thrown into a dark and silent place, much like the tomb, where they are stripped of their identity, their loved ones, their language, their voice. But we believe the Resurrection comes. Kind neighbors gave us an old piano, I struggled to learn the new language, schoolmates helped and explained, and when I was older, a Jesuit university offered me a home again. I sang in the choir and I am singing in that choir still.  

As you enter into Holy Saturday, try to feel the deep and dark silence of the exile, the refugee, the displaced millions around the world. Be with them and then commit to giving them a home, a place where there is music, even in the dark.

6 replies
  1. Ginny Down, CSJ
    Ginny Down, CSJ says:

    Thank you for entering into the stillness of Holy Saturday…and not skipping right to the Great Vigil of Easter.
    We have lost so much when we don’t honor, respect and enter into our holy times of watching and waiting.
    On this Sabbath of Holy Week, Jesus rests in the tomb as we all prepare for the First Day of the New Creation in the Risen Christ.

  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Dying you destroyed our death.
    Rising you restored our lives.
    Lord Jesus come in glory.

  3. Silvia Muñoz
    Silvia Muñoz says:

    Thank you for reminding us of the is special day when we wait in silence.
    And thank to all the contributors of this amazing series! I have enjoyed and shared every single one. They have challenged me.
    Blessed Easter to all!
    A fellow cuban.


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