Holy Saturday is such a quiet day—a day of reflection and prayer, of introspection, of acute awareness of God’s abiding love.
Tomorrow He rises, and we celebrate with colored eggs and chocolate and a sumptuous glazed ham dinner with the people we love. But for now, we think of this: of Christ lying still, grey, in the cool gloom of the sepulcher.
This painting is titled Lamentation of the Dead Christ, and portrays the body of Christ supine on a marble slab. He is watched over by the Virgin Mary and Saint John, who weep for his death. The Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna, a master of perspective, used tempura to create the work sometime between 1475 and 1501.
Mantegna had probably intended the painting be displayed in his own funerary chapel; but it was found by his sons after his death, and was sold to pay off debts.
A PRAYER FOR HOLY SATURDAY
O God, Creator of heaven and earth:
Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.