Saturday, April 03, 2010

Augustine on the hope of the Sabbath

"Give us peace, Lord God, for you have given us all else; give us the peace that is repose, the peace of the Sabbath, and the peace that knows no evening. The whole order of exceedingly good things, intensely beautiful as it is, will pass away when it has served its purpose: these things too will have their morning and their evening.

"But the seventh day has no evening and sinks toward no sunset, for you sanctified it that it might abide for ever. After completing your exceedingly good works you rested on the seventh day, though you achieved them in repose; and you willed your book to tell us this as a promise that when our works are finished (works exceedingly good inasmuch as they are your gift to us) we too may rest in you, in the Sabbath of eternal life.

"And then you will rest in us, as now you work in us, and your rest will be rest through us as now those works of yours are wrought through us."

- Augustine, Confessions

Holy Saturday falls upon a Sabbath. The work of the Son of Man is complete and he rests from his labours.

But this Sabbath, like all those before it, has a sunset and an evening.


Matthew Moffitt said...


Matthew Moffitt said...

Apparently the Eastern Churches sing this on Holy Saturday:

Today Thou dost keep holy the seventh day,
Which Thou has blessed of old by resting from Thy works.
Thou bringest all things into being and Thou makest all things new,
Observing the Sabbath rest, my Saviour, and restoring strength.