Keeping vigil forms part of many religious expressions. In the Western Christian tradition, the one with which I am most familiar, Holy Saturday is one long day of anticipation for the resurrection of Jesus. That was yesterday. Today we are into alleluias and celebration.
Vigil for the dying or dead
Globally, at this moment, many keep vigil for the dying or the dead. Thanks to technology, our family draws closer together as we accompany those living in other countries, on other continents in their time of need. Covid-19 is taking its toll.
The shape of vigil varies from tradition to tradition. For me, yesterday was a day of cleansing. I cleaned the house. A task long overdue. Tonight, we place a lighted candle in the centre of the kitchen table as our way of being many miles away at a funeral taking place around two in the morning. The same small act of solidarity repeated from a week ago.
Prayer is another form of vigil. Many pray for the renewal of the Earth during this time of crisis. There is hope. Although our particular society spends billions on methods to look younger and avoid death, the natural cycle in all of life is death and resurrection. Death is a doorway into something new and often better. We stand on a threshold at this very moment. Do we change, or do we go back to business as usual?
Many forms of vigil
Other forms of vigil use flags and ribbons, prayer packages hung in trees. All forms have one thing in common: reverence. A calm hope prevails in the sadness. Actions move slowly and in unison. Hearts and souls come together for a common goal. We all long for a resurrection.
As we keep the vigil during Covid-19, I wish each of you a blessed time of reflection and hope. This too will pass. May we all have the courage to step into something new and better as we move past the sadness and into the light. All is welland all will be well.