Here is a passage from Catherine de Vinck’s A Passion Play: A Drama for Several Voices (Allendale, NJ: Alleluia Press, 1975) that I thought would be especially enriching for our vigiling during Holy Saturday. The narrator’s monologue here sets the scene for Jesus’ crucifixion:
There is a season for everything under the heavens:
a time for being born
a time for dying
a time for weeping
a time for healing
a time for blowing on the fire
a time for wetting the hot coals
a time for day and a time for night.
The sun breaks in two like an apple:
dark is the flesh, cored and crushed
dark are the seeds.
The moon rolls out of its path
shatters in crystal slivers;
star after star is tilted
drained of light.
Destruction, desolation, ruin:
the nest is pilfered, the fledgelings
– those little ones gathered under the wing –
die frozen in foreign lands. God
why hast thou forsaken us?
The tree drips with sap. In the empty air
our tears harden into cutting diamonds:
they write deep into this hour
carve the letters of his holy name.
Like wine, he is poured
like grained, he is threshed:
one measure of blood, one of flesh
one body lying at the crossroads of time
covering all surfaces of earth and sky
extending from pole to pole
from planet to planet.
What we speak is spoken in his throat
what we see is seen through his sight
passes on the screen of his eyes.
And shall we go deaf and blind
and shall we die in his dying?